The Ocean Account vol. 3 | July 2023

A note from GOAP's co-chairs

Dear friends and colleagues,

During this past quarter, GOAP has promoted and strengthened knowledge of ocean accounting for sustainable development with the celebration of World Ocean Day, new project milestones, the publication of new knowledge products and of course, the 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting.

In this edition of the GOAP newsletter, you will find the first report from the natural capital accounting project in Laamu Atoll, the Maldives, a recording of our blue carbon accounting workshop organised as part of the Blue Carbon Ecosystem Conservation, Restoration and Accounting Program and four new knowledge products on blue carbon, biodiversity credits, SEEA EA in the OSPAR region and ocean accounts as an approach to foster, monitor, and report progress towards sustainable development.

We are also delighted to share the 4th Global Dialogue report and highlight reel, which is new for 2023. The 4th Global Dialogue brought together 230 delegates from 73 countries to engage in rich discussions and enjoy presentations on ocean accounting and how it can be used to address contemporary sustainable ocean development challenges. If you attended the event and have not already done so, a friendly reminder to please fill in the feedback survey. We also welcome any feedback on the highlight reel. We are already looking forward to the 5th Global Dialogue which will take place both in person and virtually next year; more information will be shared shortly. We welcome your ideas for what you would like to see at the 5th Global Dialogue, please send them to info@oceanaccounts.org.

As always, your continued engagement with GOAP's social platforms on Twitter & LinkedIn is very much appreciated to ensure you stay updated on the most recent news and discussions on ocean accounting from around the world. 

Happy reading, 

  • Rikke Munk Hansen, 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

The GOAP Secretariat is pleased to welcome Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) to the GOAP membership. PML recently launched Europe's first marine social and natural capital laboratory. The lab will use ‘whole system thinking’, to address interdisciplinary questions around ecosystem services, habitat restoration, recreation and human wellbeing, and has been designed to promote innovation, collaboration, solution development, impact and data compatibility.

The theme of this year's World Ocean Day (June 8th) was "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing" . The United Nations (UN) organised a hybrid celebration, hosted in-person at the UN Headquarters in New York. You can watch the full live stream here

Ghana’s inaugural National Blue Economy Summit took place in Accra from 31 May-1 June 2023. The theme of the summit was “Our Ocean’s Heath, Our Prosperity, Our Planet’s Security” which saw the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, pledge Ghana’s commitment to ensuring sustainable ocean management and called for a renewed commitment from all stakeholders to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 to protect life below water. H.E. Akufo-Addo proposed five agenda points to contribute to the sustainable management of the ocean to improve the well-being of Ghanaians:
  1. The prioritization of sustainable management of the ocean through robust regulations to prevent overfishing and irresponsible fishing practices.
  2. The need to deepen strategic partnerships to enhance ocean health by calling on the private sector, academia, CSOs, and community leaders to play a critical role.
  3. The need to ensure greater and smarter investment in ocean management through public-private partnerships.
  4. More investments in research, technological advancements, and innovations to address the challenges facing the ocean.
  5. Stakeholders to recognize the interconnectedness of the global community and international collaborations to leverage the collective wisdom and expertise of all nations to save the ocean. 
Learn more here and here.
Read more


Recent milestones for some of the Global Community of Practice's projects include the release of a preliminary survey of ecosystem extent and condition in Laamu Atoll, the Maldives, and the planning of an online workshop on blue carbon accounting. Learn more below: 

Natural Capital Accounting in Laamu Atoll, the Maldives

Preliminary survey of ecosystem extent and condition in Laamu Atoll, Maldives

The Blue Carbon Ecosystem Conservation, Restoration and Accounting Program

Online workshop on accounting for blue carbon
View all projects





 26 July | Online Workshop on Accounting for Blue Carbon | Virtual
This workshop, hosted by the GOAP Secretariat, brought together 31 attendees from 9 countries to introduce blue carbon ecosystems, concepts and tools relevant to environmental-economic accounting (EEA) for blue carbon ecosystems using the SEEA EA standard, and blue finance. This event was part of the GOAP Secretariat’s collaboration with Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to develop blue carbon restoration and conservation projects within the Indo-Pacific region and help pave the way for private sector finance through the Blue Carbon Ecosystem Conservation, Restoration and Accounting ProgramLearn more and watch the event recording here.

 13 June | The 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting | Virtual

The 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting brought together 230 delegates from 73 countries spanning governments, international organisations, research institutions, and other stakeholders to explore national and regional ocean accounting projects, discuss how ocean accounting can be used to meet international and regional climate and biodiversity commitments, as well as address cutting-edge challenges facing the sustainable development of our marine environments. Read the dialogue report and watch the highlight reel. The highlight reel is new and experimental and we welcome feedback.

 16 May | Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership (AIIPOIP) interactive dialogue on Ocean Accounting: Synthesizing Lessons and Understanding Challenges | Virtual
This interactive dialogue was part of the AIIPOIP project, 'Building an Australia-India Community of Practice on Ocean Accounting'. This dialogue follows from the inaugural dialogue which took place on 14 December 2021. The project aims to advance the goals of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), particularly the marine ecology pillar co-led by Australia. The AIIPOIP is a practical initiative under the Australia-India Joint Declaration on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, as part of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Read the dialogue report and learn more.

 26 April | World Data Forum | Hangzhou, China & Virtual
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership, Statistics Canada, the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Maldivian Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, and the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (Vietnam) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa) jointly organised a (hybrid) session titled 'Partnership Innovation for Inclusive Ocean Data'. You can watch the event recording here



 11-15 September | 1st Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management | Nadi, Fiji
The 1st Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management will bring together relevant country stakeholders and partners to discuss ocean science and management priorities in the Pacific. It will be a key platform to identify national and regional needs, highlight key scientific questions and attract funds to bridge key gaps between ocean science and ocean policy implementation. The GOAP Secretariat will be presenting 'Ocean accounts can leverage ecological ocean data for pragmatic and resilient sustainable ocean development'. Learn more.

"This is why these dialogues on ocean accounts are so important – our oceans need rescue, and policies and plans for sustainable development of our oceans need better data to be appropriately designed, monitored and implemented." 

- Rachael Beaven, Director, Statistics Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 
View all events
Watch the highlights from the 4th Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting

New knowledge products!

The Global Community of Practice  continues to develop new knowledge on ocean accounting and related topical knowledge products. Recent publications include:  
  • Compiling preliminary SEEA Ecosystem Accounts for the OSPAR regional sea: experimental findings and lessons learned. This paper describes the first attempt in compiling accounts aligned with SEEA EA at a Regional Sea scale. The authors: (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.
  • Blue Carbon as a Nature-based Solution for Climate Action and Sustainable Development. This report was commissioned by the Ocean Panel and co-authored by the GOAP Secretariat to aid in bringing forward blue carbon projects and programs that can deliver benefits for people, nature and climate. Drawing from the latest science, and on the ground experiences, the report’s authors and representatives from the Ocean Panel shared perspectives on high quality blue carbon projects and the gaps and needs to help develop and scale sustainable and equitable blue carbon projects on the ground. Read our blog post summary and watch the webinar launch recordings here
  • Harnessing Biodiversity Credits for People and PlanetNatureFinance and Carbone 4 co-authored this paper (with contributions from the GOAP Secretariat) in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility at the request of the French Government. The next 18 months will be pivotal in the emergence and scaling up of biodiversity credit markets. To credibly deliver the equitable, nature positive outcomes needed, these markets must be designed with high-integrity principles now. The paper identifies 5 key design challenges in the development of high-integrity biodiversity markets and outlines a clear, sovereign-driven Global Roadmap towards overcoming these challenges.
  • Ocean accounts as an approach to foster, monitor, and report progress towards sustainable development in a changing ocean – The Systems and Flows Model. Highlighted below!
View all knowledge products

Knowledge product highlight: Ocean accounts as an approach to foster, monitor, and report progress towards sustainable development in a changing ocean – The Systems and Flows Model

This publication describes the novel Ocean Accounts (OA) Framework and its components; highlights its use opportunities, benefits, and challenges; and presents the Systems and Flows Model (SaFM) for OA. The SaFM represents the OA Framework as a system of systems, evidencing the various accounting standards it integrates and the flows between them.

Read the report


Curious to learn more about the multi-country, multi-institution collaboration on natural capital accounting in the Maldives? Check out this recent blog post: Safeguarding Our Seas: The Role of Natural Capital Accounting in Securing the Future of Maldives' Marine Ecosystems and Blue Economy

For this year’s World Ocean Day the GOAP Secretariat created a short video to showcase the important role Marine Protected Areas will play in meeting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework's 30x30 target to protect 30% of marine and coastal areas by 2030. Watch the video here

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 September 30, 2023, to be included in the Q3 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.
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