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Project Overview

Project overview

Irish Natural Capital Accounting for Sustainable Environments (INCASE) is an EPA-funded research project running from March 2019-2023.


INCASE is the first Irish project to develop natural capital accounts for different sites in Ireland.​


The project team prepared accounts for four catchments across Ireland using the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting-Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA).

Accounts for the four catchments mapped the stocks and flows of ecosystem and geosystem services, highlighting challenges, knowledge and data gaps, and recommends a framework to operationalise Natural Capital Accounting in Ireland.

what is natural capital accounting?

Phase 1 - Methods and Data: 
  • We produced a literature review on natural capital accounting to explore the various methodologies that are in use around the world.

  • Identified available data sources along with data gaps. These data sources inform the accounts, and contribute to the development of a framework for Natural Capital Accounting in Ireland.

  • Professor Jane Stout of Trinity College Dublin led this Work Package.

Phase 2 - Ecosystem Accounts:
  • We selected four river catchments for study.

  • Collated existing datasets and developed indicators, and used them to generate a range of ecosystem accounts that describe habitat condition, habitat extent, as well as environmental flow accounts including water, land use and carbon.

  • Used these case studies to test the strengths and weaknesses of the accounts, and identify the data gaps.

  • Developed a framework to guide the appropriate use of monetary valuation and determined how these values can be integrated with existing economic and environmental policies to inform decision-making. While these accounts do not necessarily require monetary valuation, we will assess the efficacy of monetising the benefits to people that certain ecosystem services provide. 

  • Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn of University College Dublin led this Work Package.

Phase 3 - Economic Analysis:
  • Used an input-output model to assess the impact of policy change on natural capital stocks.

  • Used data visualisations to produce sectoral natural capital management frameworks.

  • Produced a gap analysis of information monitoring systems and policies underpinning them.

  • Conducted economic impact assessments to better understand the trade-offs between policy options.

  • Professor Stephen Kinsella of the University of Limerick and Professor Cathal O'Donoghue of NUI Galway led portions of this Work Package.

our team
Meet the team

We are a multi-disciplinary team, with specialists in ecology, freshwater biology, economics, statistics, accounting and agriculture. 

Jane Stout USE.jpg
Stephen Kinsella.jpg
Mary Kelly-Quinn.jpg
Cathal O'Donoghue.jpg

Prof Jane Stout

Trinity College Dublin

assoc. Prof stephen kinsella

university of limerick

Assoc. Prof Mary kelly-quinn

university college dublin

Prof Cathal O'Donoghue

NUI Galway

Catherine Farrell_edited.jpg

carl obst

ideea group

Mark eigenraam


Dr Catherine Farrell

Trinity college dublin

lisa coleman

university college dublin

Iseult Headshot 2021.JPG

Fiona Smith

natural capital ireland

daniel norton

university of limerick


natural capital ireland

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