High Level Panel Blue Paper on Ocean Accounts

Events Jul 16, 2020

Downloads and summary material:

The wealth of oceans: New research shines a light on ocean accounting - World Ocean Initiative
The development of ocean accounts provides an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the value of the ocean and with it the prospect of long-term sustainability.
Without the Ocean, National Accounts Are Incomplete
Ocean accounts operate as a sustainable development scorecard, capturing the long-term health and wealth of a country’s ocean economy.

Link to the launch event: Beyond GDP: National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy

Wednesday 22 July 2020
08:30AM-10.00AM EDT / 1.30PM-3.00PM BST
All countries maintain accounts that tell a story about their economy. The most well-known feature of these national accounts is Gross Domestic Product or GDP — a single number that summarises the size of an economy represented by the total value of certain goods and services produced, usually each quarter or year. However, such an approach often leaves important questions unanswered, such as “What parts of the economy rely on the ocean? Is growth of ocean industries making a country richer or poorer in the long term? How does the economy affect local communities and individuals? Is the economy damaging ocean ecosystems or improving their health for future generations?”.
This knowledge gap limits our ability to make effective and inclusive decisions about how we use the ocean and deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a post COVID-19 world we have the opportunity to use the ocean and ocean accounting to lead the way in a new system of national statistics that is fit for purpose for the challenges and opportunities we have today.
This webinar will launch the latest Blue Paper commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), ‘National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’. This paper highlights the opportunity for incorporating ocean accounts into national accounting frameworks and the data and technology already available at our fingertips to do so. This webinar will also feature the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP), a global partnership designed to advance greater coordination and alignment between country efforts through a shared technical framework for ocean accounting and associated capacity building for countries looking to develop ocean accounts.
Join the paper’s authors and members of GOAP, as they discuss the implications of the paper for policy makers and showcase some of the leading examples from countries that are already putting the theory into practice.


  • Eli Fenichel, Knobloch Family Professor of Natural Resource Economics, Yale School of the Environment (Co-lead author)
  • Catherine Blewett, Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet; also the Sherpa to the Prime Minister on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Canada
  • Glenn-Marie Lange, Senior Environmental Economist, World Bank
  • Claire Jolly, Head, STI Ocean Economy Group, OECD
  • Teerapong Praphotjanaporn, Asia-Pacific Communities of Practices, Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP)
  • David Obura, Director, CORDIO East Africa
  • Eliza Northrop, Policy Lead, Sustainable Ocean Initiative, World Resources Institute (Moderator)

Learn more: https://connect.wri.org/e/120942/blue-papers/4ssngk/1005184730?h=tTEcgQjLe1DtZ2yH-esSZPHPXFE3v1VNY6xyQj_1v3k | Twitter: @oceanpanel