IPSASB consultation paper on natural resources

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17 May, 2022

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has issued a consultation paper 'Natural Resources'.

The introduction to the consultation paper notes that natural resources are generally understood to be resources such as sunlight, air, water and land that exist without the actions of humankind. They account for a significant proportion of the economic resources in many jurisdictions. However, governments often lack sufficient information on the monetary value of natural resources, and as a result, grant rights to these resources without regard to financial and environmental sustainability, or intergenerational fairness.

Currently, there is no explicit International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) guidance on accounting for natural resources in their original state. Therefore, the IPSASB is now working to address this gap. The first phase of its work focuses on the financial reporting of tangible, naturally occurring resources, including subsoil resources, water, and living resources, which are in their natural state. This consultation paper is the first project output, and considers whether natural resources can be recognised as assets in general purpose financial statements or should be disclosed in broader financial reports.

Comments on the consultation paper are requested by 17 October 2022.

Please see the IPSASB website for a press release as well as an access page for a video introduction, the consultation paper, and an At a Glance summary.

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