The OSPAR Convention, which concerns the protection of the marine environment for the North-East Atlantic, has committed to accounting for natural capital and ecosystem services, where the UN System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) provides an international accounting standard for guidance in compiling accounts. Here, we describe the first attempt in compiling accounts aligned with SEEA EA at a Regional Sea scale. We: (i) identified existing open access data, (ii) produced accounts for selected ecosystems and valued their services and asset value and (iii) identified challenges and lessons learned. For ecosystem services, we measured fish provisioning, carbon sequestration and outdoor recreation from coastal and marine environments across OSPAR contracting parties. The exercise identified a lack of fitting data at the regional level, spatially-explicit linkages and harmonisation need to be overcome to further expand accounts. This work represents an initial step to progress on ecosystem accounting and demonstrates that even with limited data and incomplete time-series, accounts can start being compiled to identify data gaps and prioritising next steps.

The first ever environmental-economic accounts for the OSPAR region| Blog
A new paper in One Ecosystem, marks the first attempt at compiling accounts aligned with the UN international standard (SEEA EA) at a regional sea scale.