Dr Michael Vardon

Senior Fellow

Dr. Michael Vardon researches and teaches environmental accounting at The Australian National University at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. His knowledge of environmental accounting spans the collection of basic data, account compilation, analysis and indicators as well as applications to public policy. His initial career focused on animal population dynamics and wildlife management but this shifted to environmental accounting in 2000 when he moved to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). At the ABS he worked on wide range of environmental topics, ultimately becoming the Director of the Centre of Environmental Statistics in 2005, a position he left in 2014, with secondments to the United Nations (2007-2009) and to the Bureau of Meteorology (2012-13) as an advisor on environmental accounting. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting ('SEEA') of the United Nations and the Policy and Technical Expert Committee of the World Bank's Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services ('WAVES') Global Partnership.

Research interests

The developement and application of natural capital and ecosystem services accounting.

  • Keith, H, Vardon, M, Obst, C et al. 2021, 'Evaluating nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and conservation requires comprehensive carbon accounting
    ', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 769.
  • Vardon, M, Burnett, P & Dovers, S 2016, 'The accounting push and the policy pull: Balancing environment and economic decisions', Ecological Economics, vol. 124, pp. 145-152.
  • Keith, H, Vardon, M, Stein, J et al 2019, 'Contribution of native forests to climate change mitigation: A common approach to carbon accounting that aligns results from environmental-economic accounting with rules for emissions reduction', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 93, pp. 189-199.
  • Vardon, M, Keith, H, Obst, C et al 2019, 'Putting biodiversity into the national accounts: Creating a new paradigm for economic decisions', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 48, no. 7, pp. 726-731.
  • Lindenmayer, D, Burns, E, Dickman, C et al. 2017, 'Save Australia's ecological research', Science, vol. 357, no. 6351, pp. 557-557.
  • King, S, Vardon, M, Grantham, H et al. 2021, 'Linking biodiversity into national economic accounting', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 116, pp. 20-29pp.
  • Vardon, M, Keith, H & Lindenmayer, D 2019, 'Accounting and valuing the ecosystem services related to water supply in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia', Ecosystem Services, vol. 39, no. 101004, pp. 1-12.
  • Vardon, M, May, S, Keith, H et al 2019, 'Accounting for ecosystem services - Lessons from Australia for its application and use in Oceania to achieve sustainable development', Ecosystem Services, vol. 39, pp. 1-10.
  • Ruijs, A, Vardon, M, Bass, S et al 2018, 'Natural capital accounting for better policy', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 48, no. 7, pp. 714-725.
  • Keith, H, Vardon, M, Stein, J et al 2017, 'Ecosystem accounts define explicit and spatial trade-offs for managing natural resources', Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 1, no. 11, pp. 1683-1692.
  • Bagstad, K, Ancona, Z, Hass, J et al. 2020, 'Integrating physical and economic data into experimental water accounts for the United States: Lessons and opportunities', Ecosystem Services, vol. 45, no. -, pp. 1-21.
  • Burnett, P, Vardon, M, Keith, H et al 2020, 'Measuring net-positive outcomes for nature using accounting', Nature, Ecology and Evolution, vol. 4, pp. 284-285.
  • Aggestam, F, Lipponen, A, Mangalagiu, D et al. 2020, 'Introduction to the special issue on a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) for evidence-based policymaking', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 114, pp. 178-181pp.
  • Vardon, M, Castaneda, J, Nagy, M et al. 2018, 'How the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting can improve environmental information systems and data quality for decision making', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 89, pp. 83-92pp.
  • Boyd, J, Bagstad, K, Ingram, J et al. 2018, 'The Natural Capital Accounting Opportunity: Let's Really Do the Numbers', BioScience, vol. 68, no. 12, pp. 940-943pp.
  • Ruijs, A & Vardon, M 2018, 2nd Policy Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better
    Decision Making: Applications for Sustainable Development (Eds).
  • Vardon, M, Pule, O & Galegane, D 2017, 'Accounting for water use by wildlife-conceptual and practical issues and a case study from Botswana', Water Resources and Economics, vol. 20, pp. 31-39.
  • Vardon, M, Bass, S, Ahlroth, S, Ruijs, A, eds, 2017, Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward., World Bank Group, United States.
  • Bass, S, Ahlroth, S, Ruijs, A, Vardon, M. 2017, 'Natural Capital Accounting for Policy: A Global View of Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States.
  • Vardon, M, King, S, Juhn, D et al 2017, 'The Aichi Targets and Biodiversity Conservation: The Role of Natural Capital Accounting', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States, pp. 205-216pp.
  • Nagy, M, Peevor, S & Vardon, M 2017, 'Applying Natural Capital Accounting to Water Policy', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States, pp. 217-227.
  • Vardon, M, Birt, J & Ingram, J 2017, 'Business and National Accounting for Natural Capital: Toward Improved Understanding and Alignment', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States.
  • Smith, B, Auty, K, Burnett, P et al 2017, 'Natural Capital Accounting for State of the Environment Reporting in the Australian Capital Territory', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States, pp. 45-60.
  • Bass, S, Ahlroth, S, Ruijs, A & Vardon, M. 2017, 'Introduction to the Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States.
  • Bass, S, Ahlroth, S, Ruijs, A, Vardon, M. 2017, 'The Policy and Institutional Context for Natural Capital Accounting', in Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth and Arjan Ruijs (ed.), Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy Decisions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward, World Bank Group, United States.
  • Vardon, M & Burnett, P 2016, Why we need environmental accounts alongside national accounts, pp. 3pp..
  • Vardon, M & Burnett, P 2015, Better budgeting with environmental accounting, pp. 4pp..
  • Lindenmayer, D, Burns, E, Tennant, P et al. 2015, 'Contemplating the future: Acting now on long-term monitoring to answer 2050's questions', Austral Ecology, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 213-224.
  • Obst, C & Vardon, M 2014, 'Recording environmental assets in the national accounts', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 126-144.
  • Vardon, M, Martinez-Lagunes, R, Gan, H et al 2012, 'The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water: Development, Implementation and Use', in Jayne M. Godfrey and Keryn Chalmers (ed.), Water Accounting: International Approaches to Policy and Decision-making, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, United Kingdom, pp. 32-57pp.
  • Vardon, M, Brocklehurst, P, Woinarski, J et al 2001, 'Seasonal habitat use by flying-foxes, Pteropus alecto and P. scapulatus (Megachiroptera), in monsoonal Australia', Journal of Zoology, vol. 253, pp. 523-535.
  • Vardon, M & Tidemann, C 2000, 'The Black Flying-Fox: Juvenile Mortality', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 48, pp. 91-97.
  • Tidemann, C, Vardon, M, Loughland, R et al 1999, 'Dry season camps of flying-foxes (Pteropus spp.) in Kakadu World Heritage Area, north Australia', Journal of Zoology, vol. 247, pp. 155-163.