Depletion and degradation in the UK Natural Capital Accounts


Depletion and degradation in the UK Natural Capital Accounts


Thursday 21 March 2024, 12:00 — 13:00

Presented by Aram Hawa (Office for National Statistics)

Degradation is a decline in the condition of an ecosystem or habitat, which reduces the capacity to provide flows of services. Depletion can be considered a subset of degradation and is the decrease in the quantity of the stock of a natural resource due to extraction. In this presentation we will explore the results from the ONS’s first attempt at estimating degradation and depletion for UK natural capital, building on internationally recognised SEEA guidance. The results will explore the types of services for which estimates of depletion and degradation have been possible and include both physical and monetary estimates. This analysis allows the change in the asset value to be decomposed into the effects of degradation and depletion and other factors, such as the impact of changing prices.

Aram Hawa is a senior research officer in the Office for National Account’s Natural Capital Accounts team. Aram works on the development of the methods which underly the ONS estimates with specific focus on certain services such as air pollution removal and fossil fuel provisioning. Surveying existing literature and reviewing internationally recognised methods helps ONS to construct techniques which are appropriate given UK data availability. In addition, we use our growing experience and novel insights to improve these estimation techniques further, thereby producing the most robust set of accounts.

Chair: Joe Grice, Visiting Professor, King’s College London
Discussant: Rachel Soloveichik, Bureau of Economic Analysis