This measure would ensure that natural capital -- forests, wetlands and other ecosystems -- are recognized in economic reporting.

UN Secretary-General Antanio Guterres welcomed the adoption of the new economic and environmental framework.

"This is a historic step forward towards transforming how we view and value nature. We will no longer be heedlessly allowing environmental destruction and degradation to be considered economic progress," he said.

Experts think that GDP does not reflect the dependency of the economy on nature, nor its impacts on nature, such as the deterioration of water quality or the loss of a forest.

The new framework can also underpin decision-making at two crucial conferences later this year -- COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming and the Glasgow Climate Conference, COP 26.

The UN Environment Programme’s executive director Inger Andersen said, "The new framework can be a game changer in decision-making. By highlighting the contribution of nature, we now have a tool that allows us to properly view and value nature. It can help us bring about a rapid and lasting shift toward sustainability for both people and the environment."

More than 34 countries are compiling ecosystem accounts on an experimental basis. With the adoption of the new accounting recommendations, many more countries are expected to begin implementing the system, IANS reports.

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