May 05, 2022

ARIES for SEEA for rapid natural capital accounts generation: Towards fast, transparent and standardized yet customizable ecosystem accounts

May 05, 2022
Online Webinar


DATE: Thursday, May 05, 2022

TIME: 12:00 -13:30 UTC/ 8:00 - 9:30 am EDT/14:00 - 15:30 CEST/15:00 - 16:30 EAT 

This webinar is part of a series organied by the Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice.



Presented by: the ARIES team (Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability) of BC3 (Basque Center for Climate Change)

The Artificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability (ARIES) team, in collaboration with the United Nations, has developed a web-based application in support of the implementation of the System of Environmental Economic Accounting - Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA) that was adopted in 2021 as a statistical standard.

The ARIES for SEEA Explorer is a computational platform that lowers the barriers to compiling ecosystem accounts. The application can generate a basic set of ecosystem accounts for any user-specified terrestrial area in the world (such as a country, administrative region, watershed, etc.), through its access to hundreds of data sets (from global to local). The Explorer’s technology is based on machine reasoning and chooses the best-available combination of web-hosted data and models for the analysis context. For example, the use of national data is prioritized over global data. In case no national data are accessible to the system for the chosen area of interest, the accounts are generated from global data sets. 

The current ARIES for SEEA functionalities include land accounts; ecosystem extent accounts (based on the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology), condition accounts (for forest ecosystem types), and selected ecosystem services in physical and monetary units, using basic models as a starting point. The outcomes can be analyzed and downloaded to further explore and improve the results (either through a spreadsheet or GIS software).

The philosophy behind ARIES is based on the principle of interoperability: it enables users to share their own data and models, thereby growing the accuracy of the accounts and the functionalities of the platform.


The objective of this webinar is to present to the Africa NCA community of practice the ARIES for SEEA web-based application and to demonstrate the potential of this technology. 

Program Outline:

Chair/Moderator: Monica Lopez Colon, Programme Management Officer, UNEP

Welcome remarks: Peter Katanisa, NCA CoP Coordinator, World Bank

1- Introduction: SEEA EA implementation strategy and ARIES for SEEA 

Speaker: Bram Edens, UNSD

2- Presentation/demo: ARIES, an Integrated modelling platform to democratize knowledge and information.

Speaker: Ferdinando Villa, ARIES

3- Presentation/demo: the ARIES for SEEA web-based application, developing fully transparent and automatic compilation of Ecosystem Accounts.

Speaker: Alessio Bulckaen, ARIES

4- Presentation: Interoperability and Artificial Intelligence to standardize and scale up ecosystem accounting - advancing automatization and customization of models.

Speaker: Kenneth Bagstad, USGS

5- Open Q&A with the audience


Webinar recording



Get started with ARIES:

1. Register in the k.Hub at this link. Video instruction here.

2. Access guide: to access the application via web or install the software (frequent users or to import data or change models) at this link.
3. User guide: to learn how to navigate the intuitive ARIES for SEEA interface and start compiling your accounts independently.

4. Technical note: to introduce interested user to the technology used by ARIES

5. The Integrated Modelling partnership Youtube channel with demo, past presentation and short video.

6. Introduction material to the k.Modeler, the modeling interface (accessible once registered in the k.Hub).