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Strengthening national capacities in environment statistics and accounts in support of progress toward achieving the internationally agreed development goals in Western Asia and Latin America

Background:

Statistics and indicators are critical tools for evidence-based policy-making and for socioeconomic planning. They are needed to assess the current situation, to set objectives for the future, and to measure progress towards achieving national and international development goals. Countries of West Asia and of Latin America and the Caribbean strongly depend on their natural resources to support their economic growth.

This project aims to enhance the national capacities of Member States in environment statistics, indicator and accounts in order to integrate environmental concerns into economic development, thus supporting progress towards achieving environmental sustainability and related international agreed development goals (IADGs).

Objective:

To strengthen National Capacities of ESCWA and ECLAC countries in the collection, coverage, dissemination and exchange of reliable, timely and comparable environment statistics, indicators, and accounts taking advantage of an integrated environmental statistical system approach (IESS) in support of progress toward achieving national and internationally agreed development goals.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Strengthened skills of National Officials to produce relevant, quality, comparable and timely environment statistics, indicators, and accounts using the systemic approach, Integrated Environmental Statistical Systems (IESS) that incorporates statistics, indicators and environmental accounting.

  • Increased national and regional production, dissemination and use of environmental statistics, indicators and accounting using advanced information and communication technology and improved metadata production.
  • Strengthened regional network of experts and practitioners and increased interchange of experiences, best practices and methodologies.

Implementation Status:

The project beneficiaries included 32 countries in the two regions of West Asia and Latin America mainly National Statistical Offices, Ministries of Environment and Sectoral Ministries including Water Agencies and sometimes Energy Ministries. All 14 ESCWA member countries participated at the Project namely, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen and 18 ECLAC countries included Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Basic environment statistics and indicators are now produced by most member countries and
pilot water accounts produced for Bahrain, Egypt, Oman,, Dominican Republic, Columbia,
Venezuela, Paraguay, and advanced accounts are produced in Mexico and Jordan according to
the System of Environmental Economic Accounting for Water (SEEAW). In addition, the expert
groups provided recommendations and concrete steps to move forward and implement the
framework for Environmental Economic Accounting with priorities and specificities to both
regions.

The project has strengthened the statistical capacity of national statisticians and water and
environment officials in environment statistics and indicators with a focus on water accounts as
per international standards. Project website link: http://www.escwa.un.org/esiap/. NSOs have expressed their interest in further assistance and training on environment statistics and water accounts.