Environmental-economic accounts with Earth observation data

Environmental-economic accounting continues to receive attention as a robust means of measuring and reporting on our environment and to quantify the societal and economic benefits it generates. However, while the usefulness of environmental-economic accounts (EEA) is widely acknowledged, there remain several institutional and technical challenges to making environmental-economic accounting a reality for Australia.

Important among those challenges is the requirement for spatial data on different aspects of environmental composition and condition (e.g., land cover type, vegetation health) and the natural resources and other ecosystem services it provides (e.g., biomass, soil protection). The scientific literature shows that Earth observation should be able to provide at least some of these data in a cost-efficient manner, but it currently does not.

This Fenner Synthesis workshop brought together experts in (a) the use of environmental-economic accounting data, (b) the framing and production of EEA, and (c) satellite Earth observation of environmental variables. The goal was to identify the main constraints and opportunities to the better use of Earth observation in environmental-economic accounting.

The workshop was organised on 10-11 May 2018 in Canberra by Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, and Geoscience Australia (GA)

All materials and outputs from the workshop can be found on this page.