A sustainability scoreboard for crop provision in Europe

Ecosyst Serv. 2020 Dec:46:101194. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101194.


The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (SEEA AFF) offers the possibility to assess and report detailed accounts for primary industries while establishing important linkages with relevant ecosystem services, in line with the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA). In this paper, crop products and crop provision as ecosystem service are coherently merged to build a sustainability scoreboard for selected crops in European countries. The sustainability scoreboard uses the SEEA AFF accounts for crop products with data inputs from FAOSTAT and the Integrated system of Natural Capital Accounts (INCA) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) for ecosystem services. The combined FAO-JRC accounting table described in this paper provides a common ground and measurement tool towards a sustainability scoreboard, useful to analyse how relevant economic, social and environmental components behave by country. This newly derived sustainability scoreboard presents significant differences with respect to analyses based on standard agricultural statistics. Lack of sufficiently accurate data remains the major limitation to current fuller implementation of the sustainability scoreboard. However reasonable assumption can be made that ongoing international data collection processes (including FAO questionnaires) integrated with Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis will supply in the near future additional relevant and applicable information.

Keywords: Composite indicators; Crop provisioning; Ecosystem services; Environmental accounts; Sustainability scoreboards.