Environmental accounting

Comprehensive, rigorous and regular accounting for changes in the status of biodiversity as a whole, aligned with the international System of Environmental-Economic Accounting.


Biodiversity is a key part of the ‘natural capital stock’ of a region, state or country. Accurately and regularly assessing the current status of biodiversity, and how this is changing over time, is critical in maintaining biodiversity and the ecosystems services it supports. However, there are significant challenges in accounting for changes in the status of biodiversity, given the distributions and abundance of only a small proportion of the Earth’s 9 million species are well know, and tracked regularly through time. For most species there are large shortfalls in data.

To meet these challenges, CSIRO has been leading the development and application of biodiversity indicators and habitat assessment, to provide regular and reliable biodiversity accounting. These methods have been applied as a case-study of species accounting under the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting, led by UNEP-WCMC.