Country fact sheet: France (FR)
Country co-authors: Adrien Comte, Solène Legrand, Harold Levrel
In France there is much interest in both biophysical and economic accounts. Their potential is acknowledged by the government institutions. More specifically they would be used for: spatial planning, facilitate budget allocation on natural amenities, follow the state of ecosystems, as an aid to set new wealth indicators, to help inform decision makers for different impactful activities,
to include ecological debts and credits in national accounts and to set ecological taxation.
A methodological framework has been developed for the creation of the Marine ecosystem extent, condition and monetary asset account. The accounts are expected in the following years. A forest ecosystem monetary asset account has been developed on a national scale and a cultural ES supply and use account in monetary terms has also been developed on a local scale. Moreover,
a theoretical framework is under construction to calculate the unpaid ecological cost for an ecosystem, this is a complementary approach to valuation according to the SEEA EEA framework.
Data gaps in France mainly involve marine and coastal habitats and the overseas territories. The first suffers from infrequent and inconsistent data affecting both extent and condition accounts, while the second lacks data overall except for coral reefs. The account for unpaid ecological cost still needs conceptual and technical refinements to become operational.
In France, no capacity building needs have been identified at this stage. Stakeholders have emphasized the need to create accounts that are useful for public policies, since setting up accounts is costly. There are problems that still need to be overcome for the unpaid ecological cost and extent account. A committee or working group, including various public administrations and researchers, on the means to improve and integrate ecosystem accounts, should be put in place in order to facilitate the construction and use of the ecosystem accounts. Informal discussions are already taking place on a regular basis.