The central government is drafting trial plans for implementing the balance sheet of natural resources, which is expected to provide surveillance and warnings to policy-makers regarding environment protection, according to a document released by the State Council General Office on Nov 17.
As part of the government’s efforts to create an ecological civilization, the balance sheet will connect with important policies such as the management of “redline areas”, property rights and use of natural resource assets, and the accountability system for ecological damage.
The State Council also urged establishing a data monitoring system for natural resources using modern technology and legal approaches to improve statistical accuracy.
The balance sheet will also refer to international standards such as the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, released by the United Nations and other organizations.
The accounting of natural resources will start with important ecological functions, which include land, forestation and water.
The trial of the balance sheet will take place from November 2015 to the end of 2016 in Hulunbuir of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Huzhou of Zhejiang province, Loudi of Hunan province, Chishui of Guizhou province, and Yan’an of Shaanxi province.
Based on trial results and further research, the National Bureau of Statistics, along with other government departments, will seek to expand the accounting scope for natural resources. The official and final version of the balance sheet is expected to be launched by the end of 2018.