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To support countries in strengthening their environment statistics, ESCAP has convened sub-regional workshops and an Expert Workshop on Land Accounting. ESCAP has also participated in workshops and technical assistance at the national level in several member States.

List of Events and Activities


Table of Contents


Sub-regional Workshops on Environment Statistics

Several countries in Asia and the Pacific have expressed the need to improve environment statistics programmes of national statistical offices (NSOs) to respond to demands arising from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other national development priorities.

The workshops on environment statistics for Asia-Pacific sub-regions – Pacific, Southeast Asia, South and Southwest Asia, East and Northeast Asia, and North and Central Asia – offer opportunities  to build capacity on basic approaches to environment statistics, the Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES) and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), as well as strategic planning for improving environment statistics.


The workshops bring together participants from countries that have expressed a need to strengthen their capacity to:

  • Conduct strategic planning for environment statistics,

  • Identify, document and prioritize available data and statistics,

  • Compile basic environment statistics, and

  • Conduct work planning to improve environment statistics.

The target audience for the workshops is mid-to-senior-level technical staff from NSOs, data providers (environment and natural resource departments) and data users (finance and planning departments).

The workshops are opportunities for participants to:

  • Present their national context with respect to environment statistics,

  • Understand the role and scope of statistical standards (SEEA) and guidelines (FDES), and how they can be used to address the SDGs,

  • Understand the need and approaches to strategic planning and documenting the key datasets in the National Statistical System, and

  • Understand the role of ESCAP in supporting the development of environment statistics.

Participants are provided, in advance, with the ESCAP Diagnostic Tool. They are expected to present a 15-minute overview of the application of the Diagnostic Tool to their country context. In addition, participants from offices with existing environment statistics programmes are invited to present as showcase countries during other workshop sessions.


Page Tree

Expert Workshops

Land Accounts


The surface of the earth: the land, freshwater, coasts and oceans, is the space in which most human activities take place. As with business and population registers, coherent and agreed-upon statistics on what exists on the surface of a nation is fundamental to governing and managing it. Land accounting seeks to standardize and integrate the spatial aspects of environmental, social and economic statistics to provide such a foundation.Monitoring progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development demands spatially-detailed statistics across many dimensions: for disaggregating statistics by urban/rural, for distinguishing areas with access to clean water and roads, for distinguishing catchment, marine & coastal, forest, agricultural, mountain and protected areas, for distinguishing degraded areas and establishing land tenure, just to mention a few.Statistically describing a nation’s biophysical area is treated in the SEEA Central Framework (SEEA‑CF) in terms of Land, Forest and Soil Asset Accounts. It is also described in the FDES (United Nations Statistics Division, 2013) as key statistics on land cover, land use, ecosystems and biodiversity. The SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting guidelines (SEEA-EEA, United Nations et al., 2014b) provide further guidance on delineating ecosystem assets, compiling information on their condition, the values of their ecosystem services and linking these values to standard economic accounts. The UN initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) knowledge base on National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)[1]highlights the experience of countries in integrating such spatial information.Although many countries have been compiling information on their land, few have experience in integrating and standardizing this information from the many sources and methods used. Integrating this disparate information, through land accounting, is essential to provide a comprehensive picture of the environmental state of a country and to guide plans to improve or maintain this state.Traditionally, producing land information has not been the core mandate of National Statistical Offices (NSOs). However, for at least 30 years, many NSOs have developed the capacity to conduct spatial analysis and to standardize and integrate land data from many sources. This has required close collaboration with national stakeholders such as departments of environment, natural resources, fisheries, oceans, agriculture, forestry, planning, and land registration. The benefit of including NSOs in this process has been their role as broker between the different departmental mandates, disciplines and standards.ESCAP, in collaboration with partners, have been providing technical assistance and training on environment statistics and environmental-economic accounting to countries individually and through sub-regional workshops. In all sub-regional workshops, participants presented self-assessments of priorities for strengthening environment statistics. Several countries identified land accounts as priorities. Work is in progress in Nepal, Vanuatu, Myanmar (with the World Wildlife Fund) specifically on piloting land and forest accounts, and in Indonesia on land and ecosystem accounts.

Purpose of the workshop


The overall aim of the workshop is to address member States’ stated requirements for technical guidance on how to begin or improve their land accounts.

The 3-day workshop will bring together NSOs and natural resource departments with regional and international experts. The workshop will consist of four main components:

  1. Case studies by member States’ activities in land, forest and ecosystem accounting, including presentation of objectives, approaches, results and remaining challenges;

  2. Focused training on aspects identified by participants (including links to SDGs, NSDI, forest accounting, ecosystems and oceans); and

  3. Guided technical assistance and problem-solving labs with regional experts.

  4. Related initiatives and support by international organizations

Member States which have initiated or have expressed their readiness to initiate land, forest or ecosystem accounts will be invited. Two participants from each selected country will be nominated: one from the NSO and another from a natural resources department, both of whom are responsible for producing land statistics.

Participants will be requested to make a short presentation on their priorities, status of work, challenges of land statistics. If work is in progress, they are invited to bring their data (in GIS, maps and tables) for detailed discussion during the technical assistance and problem-solving labs.

[1] National Spatial Data Infrastructure, see:

Ocean Accounts

Vital information to monitor and evaluate progress towards SDG 14 is available, but it is fragmented across scientific domains, policy frameworks and institutions. ESCAP and UN Environment are leading a global effort to develop statistical guidance based on the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA). The Ocean Accounts Framework provides guidance on selecting, prioritizing and standardizing data of national, regional and global importance, so that it can be integrated and thereby provide a comprehensive view. This requires a conversation among scientists, policy makers and statisticians.

Other Related Workshops

Climate Change-Related Statistics 

The ESCAP course on Climate Change Statistics combines modules from the SEEA-CF, SEEA-EEA, SEEA-AFF, Ocean Accounts with an overview of climate change science. Participants are guided through a week-long exercise to determine climate change priorities in their countries, research appropriate data and make recommendations for statistical development to address their priorities.

Other Related Workshops



18-25 November and 2 December 2020


Training Programme on Climate Change Related Statistics and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) for Pacific Island Countries

17-21 September 2018

Nadi, Fiji

Kyrgyzstan National Workshop on Shared Environmental Information Systems (SEIS) and Environmental Statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

11 - 14 June 2018

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Regional Training Course on Climate Change-Related Statistics

27 November - 1 December 2017

Chiba, Japan 


Team Calendars

Other Events

Other events participated by UNESCAP, Statistics Division

United Nations Statistical Commission 2022 Side Event:Measuring Progress Beyond GDP

17 February 2022

0921:00-1022:15 PM, (New York Time)

United Nations Statistical Commission 2021 Side Event: From experimental ocean accounts to SEEA-Ocean25 February 2021Virtual

Eye on Earth Symposium 2018

  • Session on SDG Deep Dive - Gemma Van Halderen on ESCAP's approach to improving environmental statistics and accounting in the region (mins: 09.30-14.30; 39.28-45.00; 1.05.05-1.09.17)
22-24 October 2018Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)