Accounting For Nature: A Model for Building the National Environmental Accounts of Australia
In 2006 the Commonwealth Auditor General released a scathing report on the performance of the Commonwealth natural resource programs. This report was the latest in string of reports highlighting the need for a set of national environmental accounts.
The lack of an environmental accounting framework is a fundamental weakness of Australian environment policy. It can not be fixed by simply re-structuring the delivery of existing programs. It can only be fixed by building a national system that is regionally based, for the purposes of monitoring, data collection, evaluation and reporting.
In Accounting for Nature: A Model for Building the National Environmental Accounts of Australia, the Wentworth Group proposes an environmental accounting system which would measure the health and change in condition of our major environmental assets and underpin long-term catchment management and land use planning decisions, locally and nationally.
Future prosperity requires building a 21st century economy that is profoundly different to that of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Wentworth Group believes that National Environmental Accounts are fundamental to this future.
The Wentworth Group along with a number of experts have expanded on the common currency concept in a supplementary paper Accounting Metrics for Building Regionally Based National Environmental Accounts.
This paper explores the fundamental metric upon which to base environmental accounts.