The Ocean Account vol. 2 | April 2023

A note from GOAP's Co-Chairs

Dear friends and colleagues,

So far, 2023 has seen many new projects, events, collaborations and knowledge products dedicated to advancing the development and global uptake of ocean accounting.

We want to take this opportunity to welcome our newest member to GOAP, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA joined as part of the recent Our Ocean conferenced hosted in Panama in March. Ocean Accounts featured prominently throughout the agenda, offering an exciting opportunity to ensure ocean accounts are embedded in broader ocean policy discussions and national commitments. 

In this edition of the GOAP newsletter, you will find the latest information on ocean accounting projects from around the world, including a natural capital accounting project in Laamu Atoll, the Maldives; a valuable multi-country, multi-institution collaboration that offers insights on how countries can share knowledge and lessons on developing ocean accounts for small island states. We have also shared three new Knowledge Products on basic spatial units for the ocean, lessons from the Africa CoP on how to implement ocean accounts and the importance of adopting blue economy models.

We are also very much looking forward to the upcoming 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting, scheduled for June 13th. This will provide a valuable opportunity for the global community of practice to connect, exchange new ideas and knowledge and identify opportunities for the reminder of the year.  The proposed agenda closely aligns with emerging global opportunities for ocean accounts and will play an important role in providing a foundation for the 5th Global Dialogue which will be held in person next year. We encourage everyone to participate. Please refer to the events section for more information. 

As always, your continued engagement with the GOAP's social platforms on Twitter & LinkedIn is very much appreciated to ensure you stay updated on the most recent news and discussions around the importance of ocean accounts to a sustainable ocean economy. 

Happy reading, 

  • Rikke Munk Hanson, Chief, Economic and Environment Statistics at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  • Zeba Ali, Manager, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Latest news

After nearly 20 years of negotiations, delegates of the 2023 Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction reached an agreement to protect the world's oceans that lie outside areas of national jurisdiction. The agreement, referred to as the 'High Seas Treaty', provides a legal framework for establishing vast marine protected areas to protect biodiversity, arrangements for sharing marine genetic resources of the high seas and requirements for environmental impact assessments for deep sea activities. Importantly, the treaty is crucial for enforcing the GBF “30x30 target” (outlined below). As with marine management and blue economic development within country jurisdictions, ocean accounting offers an underpinning information infrastructure that enables evidence- based decision-making for treaty implementation, tracking its success and otherwise. Regional seas accounts provide a valuable starting point on how to develop accounts that are effective in the high seas context. Listen to a podcast about the treaty.  

At the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (CoP 15), almost 200 countries signed the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The framework consists of four global 2050 goals and 23 global 2030 targets designed to guide global action on nature through to 2030. A driving feature of the GBF is the “30x30” target which calls for the protection of at least 30% of the world’s natural environment, and to restore 30% of already degraded environments by 2030. Importantly for ocean accounting and natural capital accounting more broadly, target 14 callsfor the “full integration of biodiversity and its multiple values into policies, regulations, planning and development processes, poverty eradication strategies, strategic environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments and, as appropriate, national accounting, within and across all levels of government and across all sectors…” 

Four of Stats NZ’s environmental-economic accounts were recently updated with 2021 data, including their marine economy account. The accounts are developed using the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework and show the interactions between the environment and the economy to provide a clearer understanding of environmental-economic pressures, dependencies, trade-offs, and impacts. 
Read more


The Global Community of Practice continues to deliver a variety of accounting projects from piloting the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting framework in a small island state to mainstream the use of natural capital accounting (NCA) in decision-making, to the establishment of ocean accounts for coastal blue carbon restoration and conservation projects to help pave the way for private sector finance. Learn more below: 


Natural Capital Accounting in Laamu Atoll

Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund

Blue carbon restoration and conservation projects


Natural capital accounts in the North-East Atlantic


National Ocean Ecosystem Account
View all projects

Spotlight: Global collaboration on local accounting

The natural capital accounting project in Laamu Atoll, the Maldives, is a unique multi-country, multi-institution collaboration offering valuable insights on how countries can share knowledge and offer guidance on developing ocean accounts, as well as best practices and lessons learned for small island countries looking to develop fit-for-purpose natural capital accounting frameworks. Project partners from Indonesia, who have a wealth of experience in developing ocean accounts, are guiding the Maldives team based on first had experience from their inaugural ocean accounts pilot. The project exemplifies what the Global Community of Practice can achieve when ambitions and resources are aligned. Visit the GOAP website to learn more and check out the video below!
Annisya Rosdiana, Ocean Governance Expert at the Fisheries Resource Center Indonesia (Rekam Nasantara Foundation) explains the importance of sharing knowledge on ocean accounting between countries, and shares insights from the Indonesia pilots.
Learn more



 1-2 March | Ocean Business Leaders' Summit (OBLS) | Sydney, Australia

The OBLS is a regular gathering of business, finance, research, science, and government stakeholders to broker dialogue and intellectual discussion about a sustainable ocean economy and strategic collaboration for an ocean action agenda. The GOAP Secretariat participated in the 'Ocean Finance Immersion' to discuss how ocean accounts provide the essential data and insights needed to inform and facilitate investments in our ocean. Learn more

 2-3 March | Our Ocean Conference | Panama City, Panama

The GOAP Secretariat co-hosted an official side event 'Ocean Accounts: Setting the Foundation for Sustainable Blue Economies' together with the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), and the Governments of CanadaIndonesia, and the United Kingdom. Countries shared their latest plans for developing ocean accounts, identified examples of best practice, and explained the role of ocean accounts in delivering onnational and international commitments. The NOAA also announced its intention to join GOAP, becoming the 28th member. Learn more.


 Happening today! 26 April | 14:45 – 15:45 GMT +8 | World Data Forum | Hangzhou, China & Virtual
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificStatistics Canada, the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Maldivian Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the GOAP Secretariat are jointly organising a (hybrid) session titled 'Partnership Innovation for Inclusive Ocean Data'. Learn more and register for virtual attendance. 

 Save the date! 13 June | The 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting | Virtual
  • Asia & the Pacific: 13 June | 07:00 London, 09:30 Male, 14:00 Sydney. 16:00 Suva
  • Africa, the Americas & Europe: 13 June | 07:00 Los Angeles, 10:00 New York, 15:00 London, 16:00 Maputo
The objective of the 4th Global Dialogue is to discuss the emerging opportunities for, and utility of, ocean accounting in advancing nature based solutions and biodiversity targets, as well as how ocean accounting can be used to address contemporary sustainable ocean development challenges including climate change action, the implementation of the high seas treaty and Sustainable Ocean Plan development. 

This event will be split into two virtual events: one to accomodate the Asia and the Pacific timezones and one for Africa, the Americas and Europe. Each event will feature a case study presentation showcasing how ocean accounting can help meet specific regional and international commitments, as well as breakout sessions designed to exchange knowledge, identify opportunities and generate new ideas on how ocean accounting can address the above-mentioned challenges.
 Learn more

"The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will join the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership to formalise and strengthen the role that ocean accounts play in national ocean policy development and implementation." 

Dr. Richard W. Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator at the Our Ocean Side event. 
View all events

New knowledge products!

Over the past quarter, the Global Community of Practice  developed a range of ocean accounting and related topical knowledge products. These include:  
View all knowledge products

Knowledge product highlight: Potential applications of natural capital accounting in marine policies for the North Sea and North East Atlantic

This report examines the potential policy applications of NCA for marine policy in both the Dutch part of the North Sea and the North East Atlantic (OSPAR). The analysis provides an overview of strengths, limitations and challenges of NCA based upon case study review, interviews and discussions during the OSPAR NCA Worksop in December last year.

Read the report


The Blue Natural Capital Podcast recently featured a conversation on Environmental Economic Accounts: Bookkeeping for the Ocean. GOAP Secretariat Director, Ben Milligan and Crystal Bradley, Director, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water discuss how we might break down the natural world on a balance sheet, based on results from the first pilot projects in Australia.

Curious to learn more about the outcomes from the Our Ocean side event 'Ocean Accounts: Setting the Foundation for Sustainable Blue Economies'? Check out this recent blog post:
 Ocean Accounting gains global momentum as countries step up commitments at Our Ocean

Spotlight: Americas and Latin America Communities of Practice

The GOAP Secretariat and members of the Global Community of Practice are mobilising partners and resources to establish an Americas and Latin America Communities of Practice. Please contact the GOAP Secretariat if you are interested in getting involved.

Submit your news

If you have any updates you would like to share through this newsletter, please get in touch with the GOAP Secretariat and we will include your items in the next edition. Please send your submissions of 250 words, plus any relevant links by June 16 2023 to be included in the Q2 edition.
Submit a newsletter item

About GOAP

The Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP) is a multistakeholder partnership established to enable countries and other stakeholders to go Beyond GDP to effectively measure and manage progress towards ocean sustainable development. GOAP aims to support at least 30 countries by 2030 to build complete sequences of national ocean accounts and co-create knowledge products that support the development of globally accepted and standardised ocean accounting practices by 2023. Co-Chaired by UNESCAP and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, GOAP brings together governments, international organisations, and research institutions to build a global community of practice for ocean accounting.
Copyright © 2022 Global Ocean Accounts Partnership, All rights reserved.

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