The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) is a framework that integrates economic and environmental data to provide a better view of the interrelationships between the economy and the environment. The SEEA framework follows a similar accounting structure as the System of National Accounts (SNA), and concepts, definitions and classifications consistent with it.

The Ownership Group for SDMX implementation for macro-economic statistics (SDMX-MES OG) is the owner of the SEEA DSD. The SDMX-MES OG is already responsible for SDMX DSDs in the areas of National Accounts (incl. Government Finance), Balance of Payments, Foreign Direct Investment and Price Indices.

The SDMX-MES OG mandated a technical sub-group to propose global Data Structure Definitions (DSDs) for the implementation of SDMX in SEEA. The sub-group, composed by representatives from Eurostat, OECD, UNSD, FAO, UNECE and UN Environment, was tasked to develop DSDs for the following SEEA priority accounts as established by the UN Statistical Commission:

  1. Air emission accounts
  2. Energy flow accounts
  3. Material flow accounts
  4. Water flow accounts
  5. Land accounts (land use and land cover)

Some of these accounts will deliver indicators to monitor sustainable development goals (SDGs). In particular, the information in the material flow accounts and water flow accounts can be directly used for SDG indicators. The other priority accounts can also contribute to SDGs depending on what is the main data source for SDG indicators. The methodology and data sources for many SDG indicators are still under discussion (indicators Tier III) and thus there is an opportunity to have other SEEA aligned SDG indicators.

Maintenance Cycle

The Ownership Group agreed on an annual maintenance cycle for changes to the data structures or related artefacts. Updates to any of the DSDs do not necessarily invalidate previous versions. Even when new versions become available, old versions can still be used if the changes in the new version do not impact the data exchange template (data flow) you want to use. This approach ensures long term stability of the published data structures. Only in the rare cases where backwards compatibility cannot be assured, old data structures might be discontinued. This will be communicated with ample lead time through various communication channels by all organisations represented in the Ownership Group.

Terms of reference of the Ownership Group, including a description of the maintenance cycle.

Data Structure Definitions

All structures are stored in the SDMX Global Registry. Access is possible without authentication at The registry interface can be used to visualise the data structures, all related artefacts (such as code lists), and to download specific versions of artefacts. It can also host dataflows and constraint artefacts, which describe the subsets of DSDs applicable to specific dataflows.

SEEA DSD Guidelines with some background information and explanations

SDMX Packages

SEEA DSD Matrix 2020-05 (with changes highlighted)

DSD ID and Name

DSD Version
(SDMX 2.1 Download)

SEEAAIR – SEEA Global DSD for Air Emissions


SEEALND – SEEA Global DSD for Land




SEEANRG – SEEA Global DSD for Energy


SEEAWTR – SEEA Global DSD for Water


Release notes: 2020-05.

For SDMX 2.0 formatted DSDs, older DSD versions or downloads of any other artefacts please consult the Global SDMX Registry