JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 363-376.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20150366

• Theoretical Discussion •     Next Articles

Research Progress and Controversial Issues of Natural Resources Accounting

KONG Han-xiao1, 2, SHEN Lei1, ZHONG Shuai1, 2, CAO Zhi1, 2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-04-07 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41271547

Abstract: An exploration on the compilation of natural resources asset debt sheet was proposed in the third plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to audit the retired leading cadres. China's natural resources balance sheet and its related criterion are designed to audit all natural resources asset and promote the construction of ecological civilization, whilst the natural resources accounting is the fundamental work of resources auditing. This article aims to analyze the consensus and dispute during natural resources accounting in three aspects, including the classification of accounting projects, theoretical methods and their practical applications. We found that the researches about resources accounting were started a little bit earlier in developed countries, where many achievements had been obtained in both theoretical methods and practical applications. China's researches, however, still focused on theoretical method, though some accounting methods used in empirical study were basically derived from the existed achievements of developed countries, and lacked innovation. At present, many countries follow the principles of first physical quantity then value, first stock then flow, first class then general analysis when conducting natural resources accounting. However, there is no unified classification of the core projects of accounting widely accepted by all countries, and many disputes still exist in the selections of valuation approaches. In practice the System of Integrated Environment and Economic Accounting (SEEA), which was proposed by the UN, has been accepted by a wide range of authorities, and then many countries began to explore their own resources accounting system in accordance with the SEEA. The authors propose some essential issues in making the natural resources balance sheet of China based on research progresses and existing disputes at home and abroad, such as determining accounting project, selecting valuation approach, the steps of natural resources accounting, and the connection between the accounting and the debt sheet. Some thoughts and methods for solving the above issues are put forward in the article, that is, selecting controllable or property right clear natural resources as accounting project; taking economic, ecological and social values into account when choosing valuation approach; placing priority to the regional natural resources accounting system of single resource; and designing specific natural resource accounting standards. Considering the resources and environmental accounting in the system of national economic accounting,constructing natural resources accounting system is of crucial importance to the compilation of natural resources balance sheet, and plays an important role in the construction of ecological civilization.

CLC Number: 

  • F205