Material Flow Analysis on the Regional Level: Questions, Problems, Solutions
This paper aims at developing a method for applying the framework of material flow accounting and analysis (MFA) on the regional level. Starting from a discussion on the state-of-the-art in MFA on the national level, already published regional case studies are reviewed and details concerning the different methodological approaches discussed. The review reveals that existing studies differ considerably with regard to the size of the investigated regions, the methods applied and the data generated. Based on this review, a method for compiling regional MFA accounts is derived, which is compatible with the standard method for national MFA. Special focus is put on the description of possible estimation methods to overcome expected data gaps, in particular with regard to international and intranational trade flows. Finally, interlinkages between material flow accounting and land use accounting are discussed.