Mapping and Assessment for Integrated ecosystem Accounting

We are coordinating MAIA, a Horizon 2020 project aimed at mainstreaming Natural Capital and ecosystem Accounting (NCA) in the European Union. MAIA is contributing to (1) forging linkages between (spatial) modelling, environmental economics and statistical communities across EU member states, (2) the further operationalisation and mainstreaming of natural capital into wider decision making frameworks, (3) the recognition of the value and adoption of natural capital and ecosystem accounts by stakeholders and (4) further clarification and development of models and methodologies that can be used for NCA.

Aim of the project

Mapping and Assessment for Integrated ecosystem Accounting (MAIA) aims to mainstream natural capital and ecosystem accounting (NCA) in EU member states (MS). The main objectives of the project are to (1) Assess policy priorities for accounting, (2) Test, pilot and mainstream NCA within the EU and its MS, (3) Test innovative approaches for NCA in the European context and (4) Support NCA in EU MS through communication and dissemination activities.


MAIA uses the System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting  (SEEA-EEA) as the methodological basis for NCA. The SEEA EEA is developed under auspices of the UN Statistical Commission. It provides a consistent framework for analysing and storing information on ecosystem assets and flows of ecosystem services. The SEEA is part of the System of National Accounts, used by statistical agencies world-wide for the production of economic and other statistics.

MAIA logo

(Expected) results

  • Communities of practice on NCA established at EU and national scales
  • Ecosystem accounts developed in 10 countries and mainstreamed in policy making
  • Ecosystem accounts available in open access through a web visualization tool
  • Innovative approaches developed:

    • Water regulation services
    • Valuation of non-market services
    • Use of open access big data
    • Biodiversity accounting
    • Marine ecosystems accounts
  • Best practice guidelines on bio-physical modelling and valuation of ES and assets for NCA
  • One data management information system building on readily available large scale datasets and including an open access web-based portal for sharing data and models

MAIA involves in-country work in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway and Spain.

The MAIA consortium includes a balanced mix of partners in statistics, ecosystem services mapping and assessments, modelling and environmental economics.