The IEEM Platform is transforming the use of natural capital accounts within countries and international institutions across the globe. To date, IEEM Platforms have been developed in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Rwanda and Zambia, with work in progress in a number of other countries. These exciting advancements have been made possible through the development of Natural Capital Accounts in these countries which enables the integration of rich environmental data in frameworks for evidence-based public policy analysis such as IEEM. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, natural capital accounting is critical for enhancing environmental governance and biodiversity in our region.
The IEEM Platform integrates data organized under the first international standard for environmental statistics, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), in an economy-wide framework. IEEM was designed to enable consideration of the relationships between public policies and investment and the three pillars of wealth: manufactured capital, social and human capital, and natural capital. As countries develop their natural capital accounts under the SEEA, the IDB continues to build technical capacity for integrated economic-environmental analysis and the institutionalization of IEEM and evidence-based public policy design.
We continue to advance the IEEM Platform agenda and are pursuing three lines of action:
- The first is the continued demonstration of the relevance of IEEM to a multilateral institution like the IDB. This involves demonstrating the value-added of IEEM when applied to the public policy and investment analysis undertaken by the IDB in the development of its programs and projects. While most previous analysis of economic viability focused on investment impacts on income flows, application of the IEEM Platform sheds light on the environmental and long-term sustainability impacts of the IDB’s investment programs and their contribution to enhancing wealth. Indeed, this sort of investment analysis is a first for multilateral development institutions.
- The second strategic line of action is the integration of non-market ecosystem services in public policy and investment analysis through linking the IEEM Platform with ecosystem service modelling (IEEM + ESM). This robust framework enables analysis of public policy and investment impacts on ecosystem services for which no market transaction or exchange value exists. In other words, ecosystems provide valuable benefits to people, many of which are not paid for. Examples of these services are flood regulating services of mangroves and cultural and aesthetic services of a pristine forest. We are currently working with country partners in advancing the IEEM + ESM framework, for example, evaluating alternative land use strategies in post-conflict Colombia.
- The third strategic line of action involves institutionalizing evidence-based policy design. As part of the IEEM Platform project, we have been collaborating with government and other institutions to demonstrate the advantages of the IEEM Platform for public policy and investment analysis. The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) is case in point where we have been collaborating closely in developing an IEEM for Costa Rica, building capacity in IEEM, and applying IEEM to key policy questions of relevance to the country. Costa Rica’s rapid uptake of IEEM was demonstrated at the Second Natural Capital Forum for Better Policy at The Hague in November 2017, where experts from the BCCR presented IEEM’s application to investigating the impact of tax exemptions on electric vehicles.
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