Toward improved accounting for the environment by Ernst Lutz

By Ernst Lutz

Towards more desirable Accounting for the surroundings: An Unstat-World financial institution Symposium [Paperback]

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Toward improved accounting for the environment

Towards stronger Accounting for the surroundings: An Unstat-World financial institution Symposium [Paperback]

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Together with Carsten Stahmer, they contributed the chapter on constructing a framework for an SNA satellite system, and they are the senior authors of the two joint UNSTAT-World Bank case studies. The general support of William Seltzer, director of UNSTAT, is gratefully acknowledged. The research presented in this volume has also benefited from the discussions at the special conference convened by the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth (IARIW) on Environmental Accounting in Baden, Austria, May 2729, 1991, 1 as well as from ongoing work on the United Nations Handbook on Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting.

In contrast, UNSTAT favors working within the established accounting principles of the SNA as far as possible. It simply reformats those standard accounts and builds into them the adjustments for depletion and degradation. Thus it promotes a comprehensive approach that can in principle accommodate any environmental or economic asset and the respective incomes derived from them. In practice, however, data limitations make it necessary to concentrate on the issues pertaining to depletion, degradation, and environmental protection expenditures.

In the study of Mexico, UNSTAT and Bank staff made three visits to the country, and the National Statistical Office was also directly involved, for it did most of the actual data work and is continuing this work. The process of environmental and resource accounting has therefore been successfully institutionalized there. In contrast, only one mission was carried out in Papua New Guinea, during which its members did manage to gather considerable data and to contact many local government and nongovernment institutions.

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