Session 5 : Environment Statistics

Compilation of land use statistics using GIS
Erik Engelien, Emil Elisa Traaholdt Vågnes (Statistics Norway, Norway)

In order to produce cost-effective land use statistics covering Norway, existing cartographic databases and registers has been used. Statistics Norway has created a hierarchical classification system, “Standard for classification of land use and land cover”, which is based on both national and international standards and nomenclatures. The method applied is based on utilising the highest quality data sources available, but where no optimal data source exists, the next best quality data sources are used. In practical terms, the method is an automatic geographic information system (GIS) that defines, classifies and assembles the data into a hierarchy. In the statistics on land use and land resources all areas with buildings are classified as built-up. In addition, the building types within a built-up area determine the classification of that area.

Integrated system of natural capital and ecosystem services accounting in the EU - an introduction to the project from a geospatial statistics perspective
Ekkehard PETRI (Eurostat, Luxembourg)

The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) and the EU Biodiversity Strategy include objectives to develop natural capital accounting (NCA) in the EU, with a focus on ecosystems and their services1. Ecosystem services are the benefits that nature provides to society. Ecosystems services include food provision, air and water filtration, pollination, climate regulation and protection against natural disasters such as flooding and many others. The goal of ecosystem accounting is to include nature and biodiversity and the services they provide in decision making, and to promote more resource efficient and sustainable choices about our future.
The Knowledge Innovation Project on the Integrated system for Natural Capital and ecosystem services Accounting (KIP-INCA) aims to design and implement an integrated accounting system for ecosystems and their services in the EU by connecting relevant existing projects and data. Several Commission Directorate Generals and the EEA work together in this project2. The goal is to build a system that is interoperable with relevant national efforts3.
In a first step KIP-INCA would be designed to produce accounts of: ecosystem extent (delineating ecosystems and measuring changes in areas covered by ecosystems), ecosystem condition (capturing parameters that are linked to essential ecosystem processes, per type of ecosystem); ecosystem service supply and use (connecting the generation of ecosystem services by ecosystems to the use by economic sectors and activities, following international classifications).
Creating the geospatial data platform proposed for KIP-INCA involves taking data sets from a wide range of sources: (1) earth observation (e.g. on land cover), (2) statistical collections including physical data about human activities (e.g. land use, industrial use), biomass production, water use and availability, (3) environmental monitoring data including data reported under relevant legislation (e.g. the Birds and Habitats Directives or the Water Framework Directive) and (4) models which quantify ecosystem services such as water, air and soil regulation, pollination, carbon release and sequestration, etc. and integrate them into a common framework.
A large contribution to the KIP-INCA data platform should come from official statistics with the most obvious one being land use and land cover statistics such as LUCAS and agriculture statistics. However official statistics are often not available at the required spatial resolution and disaggregation of data is required.
The presentation will give an introduction to the KIP-INCA project and present several of the data challenges from a geospatial-statistical perspective.