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Natural resource accounting

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  • Tom Crowards

Abstract

There is as yet no consensus on the most appropriate way to incorporate the degradation of environmental capital into national income accounting procedure. Net product is currently derived by deducting from gross product the depreciation of man-made capital only. Deducting depreciation of natural capital in a similar manner will give a figure for ‘true’ net product that provides a better indicator of that level of current income which is sustainable into the future. The ‘user cost’ and ‘net price’ methods of calculating the value of natural resource depreciation are analysed and assessed. On the basis of this assessment, the net price method is then used to adjust the national accounts of Zimbabwe for depletion of forests, soils and mineral resources, for the period 1980 to 1989. The results suggest that economic depreciation of natural resources represents approximately 2% of annual GDP, although this is regarded as a significant underestimate. The implications for integrating natural resource depletion into policy making, within the current national political climate, are then addressed. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Crowards, 1996. "Natural resource accounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(3), pages 213-241, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:7:y:1996:i:3:p:213-241
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00782146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jović, Srđan & Maksimović, Goran & Jovović, David, 2016. "Appraisal of natural resources rents and economic development," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 289-291.
    2. M. del Mar Rubio Varas, 2005. "Value and depreciation of mineral resources over the very long run: An empirical contrast of different methods," Economics Working Papers 867, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Hutton, Trevor & Sumaila, Ussif Rashid, 2002. "Natural Resource Accounting And South African Fisheries: A Bio-Economic Assessment Of The West Coast Deep-Sea Hake Fishery With Reference To The Optimal Utilisation And Management Of The Resource," Discussion Papers 18018, University of Pretoria, Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa.
    4. Shzee Tai & Kusairi Noh & Nik Abdullah, 2000. "Valuing Fisheries Depreciation in Natural Resource Accounting: The Pelagic Fisheries in Northeast Peninsular Malaysia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(3), pages 227-241, March.
    5. Mabugu, Ramos E. & Chitiga, Margaret, 2002. "Accounting For Forest Resources In Zimbabwe," Discussion Papers 18021, University of Pretoria, Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa.
    6. Harris, Michael & Fraser, Iain, 2002. "Natural resource accounting in theory and practice: A critical assessment," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Issue 2), pages 1-54.

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