Natural capital accounts for the Dutch North Sea area

Exploring the possible setup and uses of natural capital accounts for the Dutch North Sea area. In a pilot study, on request by Rijkswaterstaat, Statistics Netherlands have examined whether and how natural capital accounts could be compiled and implemented for the Dutch continental shelf (DCS). Natural capital accounting (ecosystem accounting) is an approach to systematically measure and monitor ecosystem services and ecosystem condition over time for research, decision making and planning.

 The focus in ecosystem accounts compilation thus far has been on the terrestrial environment and this study follows on the current efforts to compile these accounts of ecosystem services on the terrestrial part of the country. As a possible next step, it is recommended to initiate a project that focuses on a small set of ecosystem accounts which have also a limited scope with regard to the number of condition indicators and the number of ecosystem services in a step-wise approach. The study considers just one approach, Rijkswaterstaat can decide to use an alternative approach and set of ecosystem services and of condition indicators.