The Little Green Data Book
While substantial progress has been made on the economic and social pillars, environmental goals are far from being met, partly due to the lack of measurement of natural capital and the goods and services it provides. Recognizing this need, for nearly 15 years the World Bank has constructed global comprehensive wealth accounts, including natural capital accounts for agricultural land, forests, protected areas, and subsoil assets. Measures of natural resource depletion have been included in The Little Green Data Book through the Adjusted Net Savings indicators, and last year’s edition introduced a new indicator, adjusted Net National Income, which provides a broader measure of national income that accounts for the depletion of energy, mineral and forest resources. These measures, along with efforts of the World Bank–facilitated partnership—Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES)—aim to help countries incorporate their natural resources into their national accounts to make better economic decisions.This year’s edition of The Little Green Data Book includes a focus story on oceans and its ecosystem services, as well as estimates of global marine fisheries wealth accounts—a first step in capturing the value of this important resource stock. A new set of ocean-related indicators are also introduced, highlighting the role of oceans in economic development and providing policy makers the information to make better decisions for the sustainable management of oceans.