Ecosystem accounting in the Netherlands

Lars Hein*, Roy P. Remme, Sjoerd Schenau, Patrick W. Bogaart, Marjolein E. Lof, Edwin Horlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


In 2012, the Netherlands started the testing and production of high resolution, national scale ecosystem accounts following the methodology of the System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA), in short ‘ecosystem accounting’. The SEEA is endorsed by the United Nations Statistical Commission as a comprehensive system for analysing and recording physical and monetary information on ecosystems and human dependencies on ecosystems. Many other countries have been developing natural capital accounts following the SEEA EEA, but the Netherlands work was novel in the sense that a comprehensive set of accounts has been developed for the whole country, including high resolution maps and accounting tables of ecosystem type, condition, services, assets, carbon and biodiversity. The work involved over 10 man-years of work, and was carried out in a collaboration by the Netherlands Statistical Office (CBS) and Wageningen University. This paper presents the methodologies followed and results obtained, and reflects on the policy applications of the accounts. Some further testing and development of the SEEA EEA is needed and also the Netherlands accounts are not yet complete. Nevertheless, the lessons learned in the Netherlands are relevant for other accounting efforts world-wide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101118
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Ecosystem accounting
  • Natural capital
  • Netherlands
  • SEEA


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