Safeguarding our Roots: Natural Resources Accounting and Reporting

Giovanna Dabbicco, Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan, Marco Bisogno, Josette Caruana

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Public sector entities often have a blurred understanding of the state and value of natural resources in their jurisdiction, even though these resources have high economic and societal considerations. Natural Resources Accounting (NRA) gained momentum in recent years (Dabbicco, 2021; Dao-lin et al., 2021), and there are currently initiatives from various accounting standard setters to prepare specific guidance for accounting and reporting of natural resources in their original state. A recent initiative is that of the IPSASB, with the release of a Consultation Paper (“Natural Resources”), which considers the issues relating to the recognition, measurement, and presentation of natural resources by public sector entities.
The complexity and the novelty of these issues deserve a broad approach at conceptual and practical levels. There are stark differences between private and public sector reporting on NRA, and the discussion to date seems to revolve on the analysis of which alternative would best fit the public sector. Indeed, academics and practitioners have recognised a substantial gap in the literature for the development of a suitable and comprehensive reporting framework for natural resources from a public-sector accounting perspective. Such reporting frameworks and guidelines would help to establish clear and consistent disclosures and metrics for mainstream reporting (Elliott & Elliott, 2011).
This paper aims to contribute to the debate by addressing these gaps. The main research questions relate to how to natural resources could be defined, if they meet the basic recognition criteria and then, if and to what extent reliable measurement bases could be used to assess their value. Furthermore, the paper intends to investigate issues related to additional disclosures that eventually could be considered necessary for allowing public sector entities to discharge their accountability duties in sustainable management of the natural environment for protection of natural resources
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventEleventh IAERE Annual Conference - University of Naples, Naples, Italy
Duration: 23 Feb 202324 Feb 2023
Conference number: 11


ConferenceEleventh IAERE Annual Conference
LocationUniversity of Naples
Internet address

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