Alignment between existing private sector natural capital accounting approaches and the UN SEEA: the case study of quarry restoration by Holcim in Spain

Within the framework of the work carried out under the umbrella of the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (UN SEEA), the United Nations Statistical Unit (UNSD) has presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress the case study Business and Natural Capital Accounting Study: Quarry restoration by Holcim – Spain, developed with the technical support and expertise of Ecoacsa and the participation of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, the University Rey Juan Carlos. The publication is part of the EU-funded Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) project and examines the alignment of Holcim’s natural capital accounting approach in Spain with the SEEA EA (System of Environmental Economic Accounting-Ecosystem Accounting).

The work carried out consisted of analysing the functioning of the methodology commissioned by Holcim España and developed by Ecoacsa, in collaboration with the University of Castilla-La Mancha, the University of Alcalá de Henares, ACER Associació, Brinzal and the Plegadis Group, for the mapping, measurement, quantification and valuation of ecosystem services generated in the restoration of quarries belonging to the Group. This methodology has national coverage and application and is designed to identify the risks and opportunities in the decision-making processes associated with the restoration processes. It has been developed and tested in the quarry that the cement company owns in Yepes-Ciruelos (Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and its tailormade approach is based on combining BIRS (Biodiversity Indicator and Reporting System, developed by IUCN) and the LBI (Long-Term Biodiversity Index, developed jointly with WWF) with a monetisation of ecosystem services.

Participation in NCAVES with this case study has contributed to the process of harmonisation of data needed for the development of standardised ecosystem accounting models on an international scale.

The main objectives of the NCAVES project include:

The objective of the approach is to attach a social dimension to the ecological restoration process, for which it develops a series of actions:

The objectives of this pilot case are defined as follows:

Key conclusions

Similarities with the SEEA EA

Read on at UN SEEA

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