The first ARIES for SEEA training was held on November 8-12, 2021 in Dakar, Senegal, with the main scope of enabling participants to independently use the ARIES for SEEA Explorer and implement the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Ecosystem Accounting at a national level.

Natural capital accounting (NCA) specialists Alessio Bulckaen (ARIES Project at the Basque Centre for Climate Change) and Marko Javorsek (United Nations Statistics Division) gathered with 15 members from the Senegalese Agency for Statistics and Demography (ANSD) and other national environmental agencies to solve their needs and discuss ways to support the implementation of the SEEA ecosystem accounts and data interoperability within the country.

During the five-day training program, participants had the chance to explore ARIES for SEEA in detail and learn all the modelling components, including interpretation, visualization and download of the different results. They also began compiling SEEA accounts, while starting to measure related indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Overall, the experience was very positive. One of the key elements of the training course was the introduction to shared semantics, which drives the artificial intelligence technology that powers ARIES, and the annotation and integration of local data related to land cover accounts.

In the coming months, NCA specialists from ARIES and the UN will follow up with the training course participants to assist them with technical issues. In the meantime, a series of online training sessions will be set up in order to cover the basic operations within the ARIES platform.

We thank all the members who took part in this first training program for their collaboration and contributions towards scaling up knowledge sharing in this first chapter of what will be many more with ARIES for SEEA!

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