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Definition
Land is a central component of economic and environmental accounting. As defined by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Central Framework (SEEA CF) land is “a unique environmental asset that delineates the space in which economic activities and environmental processes take places and within which environmental assets and economic assets are located”. Land cover refers to the observed physical and biological land cover of the Earth’s surface, and includes natural vegetation and abiotic (non-living) surfaces (SEEA CF, 5.257). The land cover classification of the SEEA CF currently is the international standard to prepare the physical accounts for land cover. The SEEA Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries SEEA-AFF (FAO, 2016), which was adopted in June 2016 by the UNCEEA as an "Internationally Approved Methodological Document" in support of the SEEA CF, also applies the land cover classification of the SEEA CF. In the scope of the SEEA CF and SEEA AFF, land cover information is relevant for understanding the changing composition and condition of countries ecosystems, including its agricultural and forest landscape. A physical asset account for land cover with opening stocks, additions and reductions to stock, recording of net changes and closing stock is formulated in the SEEA AFF (Table 4.9 Physical land cover asset account).

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Grassland Sparsely natural vegetated areas Agricultural area, km2 Grassland

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