COPERNICEA :National accounts go green


An AFD 2M€ funding agreement for a “Regional cooperation for new indicators of ecosystem accounting in Africa” (COPERNICEA) was signed on February 26, 2020 in Paris by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) represented by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Khatim Kherraz.

The COPERNICEA program will support six French-speaking African countries in the preparation of environmental accounts according to the ENCA (Ecosystem Natural Capital Accounting) method serving the SDGs (SDG 15 -paragraph 9 and 17 paragraph 19).

The collection and analysis of satellite images - completed by physical and socio-economic data - characterize land use and the situation of the ecosystems. The associated environmental accounting makes it possible to study ecosystem changes, the impact of investments and to assess the economic cost of the ecological restorations that would be necessary. Operating a real paradigm shift, these new indicators should improve investment decision-making and complete national accounts (growth, employment, trades) which ignore ecosystems.

COPERNICEA will be implemented over a four-year period by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory. The target countries (Burkina Faso, Guinea, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia) give a sample of coastal, Sahel or Maghreb States and each of them is facing major challenges: water, climate, land use and loss of biodiversity.
Moreover, COPERNICEA will become a frame of reference accessible to all other French-speaking countries of Africa, likely to be replicated on a continental scale. This new accounting tool will allow all African countries to join the biodiversity agenda set at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held next fall in Kunming, China.

For the targeted countries it is a matter of helping better assess the natural capital of the country and to enlighten the agricultural, infrastructural or tourist investment choices from the point of view of their impacts on (i) ecosystems, (ii ) water resources, (iii) changes in carbon stock, (iv) and land use.
OSS organizes the official project activity start-up workshop, which will take place on March 16 - 18, 2020 in (Tunis), and will bring together officially designated focal points as well as representatives of the various partner institutions of the project.

For more details, see the AFD-OSS joint press release.