Natural resource accounting for Indian states - Illustrating the case of forest resources

Haripriya Gundimeda, Pavan Sukhdev, Rajiv K. Sinha, Sanjeev Sanyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Our main objective is to set out and apply a SEEA-based methodology to reflect the true value of forest resources in India's national and state accounts. We establish that a "top-down" approach using available national databases is both feasible and desirable from a policy perspective. In this paper, we address four components of value creation in forests: timber production, carbon storage, fuelwood usage, and the harvesting of non-timber forest products. The results of our analysis suggest that prevailing measures of national income in India underestimate the contribution of forests to income. The income accounts of the Northeastern states in particular are significantly understated by these traditional (GDP/GSDP) measures. We are also able to identify some states which performed poorly in the context of our sustainability framework, reflecting natural capital losses due to degradation and deforestation. Our results highlight the need to integrate natural resource accounting into the national accounting framework in order to generate appropriate signals for sustainable forest management and for the conservation of forest resources which are widely used by the poor in India, as well as being significant stores of national wealth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-649
Number of pages15
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007


  • Carbon sequestration
  • Environment adjusted state domestic product
  • Green Accounting
  • Indian forests
  • SEEA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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