The INCASE synthesis report was launched this week in Ireland.
It summarises the detailed work undertaken in the INCASE project from 2019-2022, in which natural capital accounts were created for four Irish sub-catchments, focusing on ecosystem extent, condition and services.
This work involved accessing a wide variety of Irish data sources, over 200 datasets in all, from more than 30 agencies. Building the accounts has created substantial opportunities for more informed decision-making by policymakers, landowners and other stakeholders.
The report is published by EPA Research, after a ground-breaking multi-disciplinary collaboration between natural scientists, accountants and economists, from Trinity College, University College Dublin, National University of Galway, University of Limerick, IDEEA Group and Natural Capital Ireland.
Led by Prof Jane Stout and Dr Catherine Farrell, Trinity College Dublin, the INCASE project (Irish Natural Capital for Sustainable Environments) tested the System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) at catchment scale in Ireland for the first time.
The SEEA EA was adopted by the United Nations in 2021 as the primary tool to integrate nature into national level economic accounts. However, since it applies a detailed, location specific approach, it can also be used by public bodies, businesses and land managers, at sub-national scales, to describe and value natural stocks such as forests, waterways and other habitats, and the flow of services from these stocks, to enable sustainable decision-making.
Our Director, Carl Obst, congratulated the INCASE team on the publication of the report, saying:
“This is a fantastic body of work. The project has shown that natural capital accounting is relevant, is possible, requires a combination of people and their different skills, and involves a journey that needs co-ordination and goodwill. It’s been a pleasure to have been involved in the project and share our experiences and expertise in natural capital accounting along the way. All of us at IDEEA Group are more confident than ever that natural capital accounting will be a core part of finding and implementing meaningful local and national solutions for sustainable outcomes. We wish the team and all of those driving forward the work on natural capital in Ireland all the best in continuing the momentum. Well done.”
Watch this video of Carl talking to the INCASE team and discussing the advances in the use of natural capital accounting since this pivotal project began.