Ethiopia’s Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) Initiative Launch 


The World Bank’s Global Program for Sustainability, in collaboration with the United Nations Statistics Division in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture held a workshop to launch Ethiopia’s Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) Initiative.

Natural capital accounting is the incorporation of natural capital into national accounts, to capture the interactions between economic activity and the environment to support better economic decisions.

As natural capital accounts for about 20 percent of Ethiopia’s total wealth, a better understanding of the state of natural capital and of the flows of benefits it provides is vital to ensure sustainable and equitable growth. The development of accounts in Ethiopia will initially focus on land, forest and water ecosystems and their services.

The Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) initiative in Ethiopia is one of the programs of Ethiopia’s Resilient and Green Development Advisory Services and Analytics (RGD-ASA) under the Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy program of the World Bank. The RGD ASA focuses on deepening knowledge and strengthening capacity to support climate resilient and low-carbon growth in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s NCA initiative aims to build a robust information system for natural capital to inform national priorities and policies including the Climate Resilient Green Economy agenda, implementation of a ten-year development plan and Ethiopia’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and World Bank-supported landscape management projects.

The workshop was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Biratu Yigezu, Director General, Ethiopian Statistical Services (ESS) on behalf of the Ministry of Planning and Development. He highlighted the following points during the opening remarks:

“Ethiopia’s NCA initiative will enhance the implementation of the country’s development and climate-related strategies. Knowing the value of natural capital and incorporating these values in the country’s System of National Account (SNA) is important. Thus, we are confident that such an initiative will enable environment and economic data generating capacity; strengthening the national account exercises; enhancing data and information sharing mechanisms related to natural capital; it creates a knowledge sharing platforms as well as supporting the capacity of different organizations related to natural capital.”

The workshop aimed to inform stakeholders about the Ethiopia NCA Initiative and to seek feedback on its scope and potential policy applications. 

Speaking at the launch, Ross Hughes, World Bank Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist said:

 “Improved landscape management is integral to government development objectives and the World Bank has supported several landscape management projects/programs in Ethiopia. Natural Capital Accounts can help provide the foundation for ecosystem modelling that will help prioritize and target future Sustainable Land Management (SLM) investments to achieve maximum impact and to enhance the Government of Ethiopia’s vison to build a resilient economy to climate change.”

The workshop was attended by more than 35 participants including representatives from Government, World Bank, UNSD, and academia and research institutions.