The Centre for Environmental Policy of the University of Florida will support UNEP by providing expertise in environmental accounting. The Centre has developed emergy accounting over the past 30 years and is the leading centre of excellence in this area.
accounting, is a method for evaluation of environmental and economic systems
on a common basis—so that environmental concerns can be quantitatively
integrated into development processes.
We begin at the national scale by diagramming the environmental resource base of the economy. Renewable flows of energy (such as sunlight and rain) are shown coming into a country. These renewable energy sources support production systems, such as forests, subsistence agriculture, lakes and wetlands. However, these production systems can also use up non-renewable resources, such as soil. Acrross this continuum, we also see economic use, such as processing of forest products and crops. These economic processes use purchased inputs of fuels, goods and services, and export of goods. Money flow is used to purchase imports and is received in exchange for exports. We shall collect data to quantify these flows and convert them all into one type of energy, so that all flows can be compared in the same units.
This analysis will be done for every country in the region, and repeated at successively lower levels of scale at selected sites: at district and individual land use systems to guide local policy decision-making. We see this as a key tool for helping to incorporate environmental concerns in national and district decision-making processes.
Copyright © 2006, West Africa Drylands Project. All rights reserved