Improving Lives

Through Data Ecosystems

National Natural Capital Accounting Strategy

Stats SA has published a ten-year strategy for advancing Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) in South Africa. The purpose of the strategy is to focus the efforts of Stats SA, and relevant Departments, and other institutions on developing priority natural capital accounts to inform South Africa’s sustainable development policy objectives. The National NCA Strategy aims to ensure that NCA is widely used to provide credible evidence for integrated planning and decision-making in support of the development needs of the country. The vision is supported by five strategic goals.

The purpose of the strategy is to respond to the need to focus the efforts of Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) and other institutions engaged in NCA on developing priority natural capital accounts and effective statistical systems and institutional mechanisms to inform South Africa’s sustainable development policy objectives. This was the recommendation of the Assessment report towards the development of a national strategy for advancing environmental-economic and ecosystem accounting in South Africa.

The National NCA Strategy is an example of cross-sectoral co-production and collaboration that is ever more important in times of resource constraints and in tackling the complex challenges of the future. The National NCA Strategy is owned and published by Stats SA as the national statistics office (NSO), but was co-developed with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and guided by the following institutions represented on the NCA Strategic Advisory Group (listed in alphabetical order): Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), National Business Initiative (NBI), National Treasury (NT), South African National Parks (SANParks), Stats SA and the Water Research Commission (WRC). The development of the Strategy was also an intensively consultative process, with stakeholder engagement taking place over three years. This included processes through:

The National NCA Strategy will support, and has already encouraged, partnerships between strategic entities in the state, private sector, in Africa and internationally to further advance NCA in SA. NCA is inherently multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral and the trend globally is for national statistical offices to be seen as coordinators and custodians of statistics, and to work in partnership with others. The National NCA Strategy provides a framework for this and points to activities that can be undertaken with existing human and financial resources and those that require additional resources.