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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Embracing Natural Resource Accounting in India: Some Reflections

Author: Shalini Saksena

Published in: Sustainable Development Insights from India

Publisher: Springer Singapore

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Abstract

National accounts based on the System of National Accounts (SNA) are limited in scope and coverage and hence inadequate for obtaining information on determinants of growth process and sustainability of development. This paper highlights some of the missing elements of SNA accounts with respect to contribution of natural resources and its implications. Sustainability analyses call for the mainstreaming of a system of natural resource accounting that integrates information on environment-economy interactions. The System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) by the UN provides the conceptual framework for understanding such interactions. It was adopted by the UNSD as the first international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting in 2012, and the framework along with its standardised methodology serves as a ready reckoner for countries looking to mainstream natural resource accounting. This paper presents the conceptual framework and scope of the SEEA. Widespread adoption of SEEA will support critical global initiatives such the monitoring of SDG indicators, the post-2020 biodiversity agenda and international climate policy. In this context, the paper also presents the Indian narrative on the initiatives by the government towards mainstreaming of natural resource accounting, which have been sporadic, albeit noteworthy and encouraging.
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Footnotes
2
Where ‘income’ based on Hicksian notion of sustainable income is defined as “…a man’s income (is defined) as the maximum value which he can consume during a week and still expect to be as well off at the end of the week as he was in the beginning.” (Hicks, 1946).
 
3
SEEA CF 2012 defines environmental assets as “the naturally occurring living and non-living components of the Earth, together constituting the biophysical environment, which may provide benefits to humanity”.
 
4
Non-material benefits from ecosystem services include regulating services (such as carbon sequestration) and cultural services (such as forest tourism). SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting focuses on the ability of the ecosystems to generate the same range, quantity and quality of ecosystem services which get degraded due to excessive economic and human activities. Such ecosystem accounting includes recording the capacity of the living components of an ecosystem and their interaction with the non-living environment in generating flows of ecosystem services.
 
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Metadata
Title
Embracing Natural Resource Accounting in India: Some Reflections
Author
Shalini Saksena
Copyright Year
2021
Publisher
Springer Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4830-1_18

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