The Ocean Account vol. 4 | October 2023

Dear friends and colleagues, 

During this past quarter, GOAP has engaged in discussions and workshops across the globe to learn, disseminate and strengthen knowledge of ocean accounting for sustainable development. The workshops focused on how ocean accounts can be used for blue carbon accounting in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, accounting for the blue economy in Belize, and tracking progress towards sustainable development in Norway, Palau, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam (more information in the events section).  

The GOAP Secretariat also participated in discussions at Indonesia’s IORA Blue Carbon Hub think tank: Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Adaptation and presented at Fiji’s 1st Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management

In this edition of the newsletter you will find the latest GOAP Members, an overview of recent and upcoming events and new knowledge products from the global community, including the Ocean Panel’s updated report: The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change and an online introductory course for the Blue Economy. 

December will also see our next Members Meeting, which is an opportunity for all GOAP Members to get together and discuss the vision and future of the Partnership. If you are an official Member, you should already have received an invite, if not please let us know at info@oceanaccounts.org

Preparations have begun for the 5th Global Dialogue, which will take place in-person next year; more information will be shared shortly. We welcome your ideas for the dialogue and encourage you to send them to info@oceanaccounts.org

As always, we appreciate your continued engagement with GOAP's social platforms (Twitter and LinkedIn) where you can stay up to date 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 

  • Radu Anghel, Director, Fisheries and Oceans Canada 

Latest news

Over the past quarter, four new members were welcomed to the GOAP Membership: the Charles Darwin Foundation, South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), ProAzul, Mozambique and Pwani University, Kenya (see below for more information). With these Members joining, the Secretariat is looking forward to expanding the GOAP Africa and GOAP Latin America Communities of Practice.

In September, a series of high-level events on sustainable development took place in New York, including the 2023 SDG Summit, 2023 Climate Ambition Summit and 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78). UNGA78 concluded with more than 80 countries signing the High Seas Treaty to protect Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, which aims to be ratified and entered into force by 2025.    

At the 1st Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management (11-15 September) Fiji welcomed >200 ocean scientists, technical experts, policymakers, young people, and custodians of traditional knowledge from across the globe. The inaugural conference theme was ‘An Ocean of Knowledge for our Sea of Islands’, and began with the launch of the Decade Collaborative Centre For The Pacific Islands Region Of The Pacific Ocean (DCC-PIR-PO). GOAP Secretariat representative, Dr Tainã Gonçalves Loureiro presented 'Ocean accounts can leverage ecological ocean data for pragmatic and resilient sustainable ocean development' during 'The UN Ocean Decade' session. Ocean accounting was referenced in several presentations, including by the IOC-UNESCO Decade Coordination Unit, as well as in the ‘Shared vision for the Ocean Decade in the Pacific’ report. 

New GOAP members

The Charles Darwin Foundation, based in the Galapagos archipelago, is an international non-profit organisation using scientific research, conservation and community engagement to safeguard the biodiversity of the Galapagos archipelago. The Data Zone platform is one of the Foundation’s many data platforms and has over 60 years of research from the Galapagos Islands including publicly available data on monitoring and migration of key animal species and socio-economic data for human activities. 

SAEON is a research facility of the National Research Foundation of South Africa, mandated to provide diverse and publicly available data on ecosystems throughout South Africa to detect, understand and predict environmental change. All data is curated by 'Ulwazi' (meaning 'knowledge') and then distributed on the publicly available Open Data Platform. 

ProAzul, Mozambique's Blue Economy Development Fund, works in partnership with the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and is supported by The World Bank through the PROBLUE programme. ProAzul coordinates collaboration across public and private sectors so that projects consider the needs of all stakeholders. ProAzul has begun implementing the first Blue Economy GDP Account for Mozambique.

Pwani University on the Kilifi Coast of Kenya uses science and research to provide an evidence base for decision-makers, particularly concerning the blue economy and marine spatial planning. This drive towards sustainability is also reflected in the University's motto, ‘Shajiisho la maendeleo endelevu’ (‘empowerment for sustainable development’). 

Global Ocean Accounts Partnership Panel of Technical Experts Established! 

The Global Ocean Accounts Partnership Panel of Technical Experts (the Panel) was established to improve our understanding of economic and scientific factors affecting the health of the ocean and sustainable of wealth from oceans and coasts. The Panel comprises 21 experts in various aspects of ocean accounting from around the world. The experts are dedicated to identifying and assessing new challenges in ocean accounting and providing advisory assistance to countries developing and using ocean accounts for technical and scientific objectives. The Panel will define the areas for which it will develop guidance, informed by requests and suggestions from national governments and other institutions involved in the compilation or use of ocean accounts. Working groups will be formed for each area of discussion and Panel members will prepare short papers and accompanying materials as appropriate. Keep an eye on the GOAP website, X (previously Twitter), LinkedIn and this newsletter for all Panel news, guidance and publications. 


Recent project milestones for the Global Community of Practice include a workshop on accounting for the blue economy in Belize and a return visit to the Maldives, including a ministerial update. 

Return to Laamu Atoll, Maldives

In August, the project team returned to Laamu Atoll to collect data on seagrass condition while engaging and training local students on seagrass monitoring and natural capital accounting. Students from Maldives National University gained hands-on experience in data collection, species identification and understanding the ecological significance of seagrass ecosystems.

Site visits were followed by a project update delivered to the Maldivian Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, as well as related meetings to strengthen collaboration for natural capital accounting.

Ocean Accounting to Track a Sustainable Blue Economy in Belize

This three-day interactive workshop (15-17 Aug), hosted by the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute on behalf of the Government of Belize and in collaboration with GOAP, revealed the usefulness of ocean accounting in supporting marine spatial planning, sustainable blue economic development and related processes in Belize.

The GOAP Secretariat looks forward to working with the Belizean Government over the next two years to contribute to a sustainable blue economy. 
View all projects


🗓️ 2 Nov | First Public Webinar on the Ocean Decade Vision 2030 Process | Online 
As part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (‘Ocean Decade’), Expert Working Groups have been collaborating to refine strategic ambitions for the Ocean Decade Challenges in the form of White Papers. The White Papers will be unveiled at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, Spain. In preparation for the 2024 conference, this public webinar will provide insights into the 2030 roadmap and the work of the Expert Working Groups. Register for Session 1 or Session 2


🗓️ 6-10 Nov | 4th International ESP Latin America and Caribbean Conference | La Serena, Chile 
The conference, themed ‘Sharing knowledge about ecosystem services and natural capital to build a sustainable future’, will provide a platform to share knowledge on ecosystem services work in the region and strengthen the regional network. GOAP Secretariat representative, Maria Granada Alarcon, Blazquez will present ‘Ocean accounting as an approach to track progress towards sustainable development’ as part of a combined session focussed on improving data on monetary values of ecosystem services and applying this data in financial decision-making contexts. Learn more here


🗓️ 7-9 Nov | Marine Regions Forum 2023 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The conference will explore what is needed to enhance cooperation and coordination to advance ocean governance within the Western Indian Ocean region and beyond. The event will also collaborate with selected experts from other regions to share knowledge and examples of good practice in regional governance processes. Program Lead of the GOAP Africa Community of Practice, Ken Findlay, will be attending and chairing a session about information management at the event. Learn more here. 



6 September | Workshop on Ocean Accounting for Sustainable Development | Oslofjord, Norway  
The MARine Ecosystem Accounting (MAREA) project was created to facilitate the sustainable development and ecosystem management of Oslofjord, Norway and represents a collaborative effort between institutions and planners at various government levels. As part of the project, MAREA hosted a discussion, attended by representatives from the GOAP Secretariat, on the use of ocean accounts for the sustainable development of the region, which is currently facing unprecedented deterioration. Learn more about the workshop here

11-15 September | 1st Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management | Nadi, Fiji 
See above, or visit the event page and GOAP website to learn more. 

26 September | ISPONRE Awareness Training Workshop on Ocean Accounting | Viet Nam and Online
The Institute of Strategy, Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), a research institute in Viet Nam, and GOAP Member, organised a virtual training workshop on ocean accounting last month. The workshop described basic concepts in ocean accounting and introduced best practice and present opportunities for the application of ocean accounts. Representatives from the partnership shared their expertise with Vietnamese policymakers, research institutions and development partners in attendance. 

17-18 October 2023 | Workshop on Ocean Accounts and Governance of Blue Carbon Ecosystems | Bogor, Indonesia and Online 
This two-day workshop united government and non-government stakeholders with the Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF) recipients from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. The workshop aimed to advance collaboration on ocean accounts and its links to the management of blue carbon ecosystems (mangrove, salt marsh and seagrass) in these regions. The workshop was hosted by IUCN and GOAP, with support from Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Environment, Energy, and Water, and Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and built on the first Online Workshop on Accounting for Blue Carbon held in July this year. Learn more

24 October 2023 | Interactive Seminar: Introduction to Ocean Accounting for Sri Lanka | In-person and Online 
This seminar provided participants with a comprehensive overview of ocean accounting, its practical applications, and the benefits that can come from adoption of the SEEA EA process. This is in line with Sri Lanka’s project on “Natural Capital Values of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems within Sri Lanka”, which aims to use natural capital assessments and accounting to enhance biodiversity within Sri Lanka’s development landscape. 


30 October 2023 | UN-ESCAP Sixth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean | Bangkok, Thailand & Online 
The Sixth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean provided a platform for (UN-ESCAP) member States and key stakeholders to engage in systematic and inclusive dialogue on priority areas and challenges in Asia-Pacific. The event featured three thematic interactive dialogues on (A) Transitioning to a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Asia-Pacific, (B) Governance for Sustainable and Resilient Port Development and (C) Ocean-based Climate Actions. Representatives from the GOAP, K.S. Kavi Kumar from Madras International School of Economics, India and Annisya Rosdiana from Rekam Nusantara Foundation, Indonesia showcased the utility of ocean accounts in dialogues A and C. 

View all events
Watch Rekam Nusantara Foundation's 6-minute explainer video on ocean accounts.

New Knowledge Products!

The Global Community of Practice continues to develop new knowledge on ocean accounting and related topical knowledge products. Recent publications include:   

  • The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Updated Opportunities for Action, the latest report from the Ocean Panel found that actionable ocean-based climate solutions can deliver up to 35% of the annual greenhouse gas emission reduction needed in 2050 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. This report was commissioned by the Ocean Panel and co-authored by Eliza Northrop, Director at the GOAP. Drawing from the latest science, and on the ground experiences, the report’s authors investigated the potential of seven ocean-based sectors to dramatically reduce global emissions and increase the livelihoods of many coastal communities. Read the report, watch the summary video and watch the launch event recording here
  • Join Introduction to the Blue Economy, the latest online course from GOAP Member, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, taught by Dr. Charles Colgan. Over 4 modules and 3-5 hours of self-paced study, the course provides an overview of the (1) components that define the blue economy, (2) challenges in managing the complex social and economic systems, (3) fundamentals of ocean accounting and their use in monitoring the contribution of the blue economy, and (4) basics of blue economy finance. For more information and registration see here

View all knowledge products



Indonesia’s Rekam Nusantara Foundation has commissioned a video explaining ocean accounts and their use in sustainable ocean development. The Fisheries Resource Centre Indonesia (FRCI), a working unit of Rekam Nusantara Foundation, was created to support the sustainable management of the Indonesian ocean using scientific research for evidence-based decision-making. As one of its core programs, FRCI has been collaborating across government sectors and stakeholders to develop ocean accounts since 2021. Watch their explainer video here

With climate change at the forefront of many discussions in New York last month, the GOAP Secretariat explored how ocean accounts can be used to track the drivers and impacts of climate change. Read more in the latest blog post: Ocean Accounting and Climate Change: Why Numbers Tell a Deeper Story.

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 December 30, 2023, to be included in the Q4 edition.
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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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