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Accounting for ecosystem services – Lessons from Australia for its application and use in Oceania to achieve sustainable development


  • Vardon, Michael
  • May, Steve
  • Keith, Heather
  • Burnett, Peter
  • Lindenmayer, David


This paper aims to illustrate the conceptual and practical issues that need to be considered if ecosystem service accounting is to be used to achieve sustainable development in Oceania. Recent international activity has focused on setting international standards for accounting for ecosystem services via the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). This includes defining the assets from which ecosystem services are generated. We examine how ecosystem services are incorporated into accounting and the benefits of doing this. This is done using Australia examples from the Great Barrier Reef region and elsewhere. Key lessons relate to: (1) the practical issues facing the producers of ecosystem accounts, including data availability and quality; (2) the need to account for both ecosystem services and ecosystem assets to assess sustainability, and; (3) explaining how ecosystem accounting can assist with sustainable development via policy as well as the management of specific ecosystem assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Vardon, Michael & May, Steve & Keith, Heather & Burnett, Peter & Lindenmayer, David, 2019. "Accounting for ecosystem services – Lessons from Australia for its application and use in Oceania to achieve sustainable development," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:39:y:2019:i:c:s2212041619301500
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100986

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yuan, Mei-Hua & Lo, Shang-Lien, 2020. "Ecosystem services and sustainable development: Perspectives f1 rom the food-energy-water Nexus," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).

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