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All natural resources originate in the environmental sphere. Some remain there and so do not enter the physical flow accounts even though they should be recorded in stock levels. Those which are drawn into the economy become immediately transformed into products; that is, they exist within the context of a market which puts a monetary value on them. This is also the case in principle for resources harvested for own account use, for example fuel wood collected by households, the extraction of construction materials and water, even though in practice valuation may be difficult.

Because natural resources are converted to products when they enter an economy, few natural resources are shown as entering the national economy from another country’s environment directly; such resources are generally routed through the originating country’s economy and are shown as imports of products not of natural resources. One exception is fish where non-residents may be entitled to fish in national waters without the catch ever entering the national economy. Another is extraction of water from a jointly owned catchment area or watercourse.

Source Publication:
United Nations, European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank , 2005, Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003, Studies in Methods, Series F, No.61, Rev.1, Glossary, United Nations, New York, para. 3.88.

Statistical Theme: Environmental statistics

Created on Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Last updated on Wednesday, November 30, 2005