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IPSASB Launches Consultation Paper on Accounting for Natural Resources

Comments are due by October 17, 2022

May 16, 2022 | New York, New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board® (IPSASB®) has released a Consultation Paper (CP), Natural Resources, which considers the issues relating to the recognition, measurement, and presentation of natural resources by public sector entities.

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. 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 recognized as assets in general purpose financial statements or should be disclosed in broader financial reports.

“The issue of accounting for natural resources is important for the public sector in most jurisdictions. The recognition and measurement of natural resources impacts not only on financial reporting, but also potentially for many governments on policy decisions and public financial management.” said IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers. “This consultation paper is the IPSASB’s first step in developing guidance for this important area.”

The IPSASB welcomes comments on all the matters discussed in this Consultation Paper by October 17, 2022. Feedback on the CP will guide the IPSASB in determining the approach to developing an Exposure Draft on the topic which will in turn shape a final IPSAS related to Natural Resources.

How to Comment

To access the Consultation Paper, Natural Resources, or to submit a comment, visit the IPSASB website. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, and Network Partners to promote the availability of this Consultation Paper to their members and employees.

About the IPSASB

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to strengthen public financial management globally through developing and maintaining accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards® (IPSAS®) and other high-quality financial reporting guidance for use by governments and other public sector entities. It also raises awareness of IPSAS and the benefits of accrual adoption. The Board receives support from the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the governments of Canada and New Zealand. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact

About the Public Interest Committee

The governance and standard-setting activities of the IPSASB are overseen by the Public Interest Committee (PIC), to ensure that they follow due process and reflect the public interest. The PIC is comprised of individuals with expertise in public sector or financial reporting, and professional engagement in organizations that have an interest in promoting high-quality and internationally comparable financial information.