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National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy

This paper highlights the critical role of national accounting in achieving a sustainable ocean economy, and major gaps in how the ocean, ocean services and ocean assets are currently treated in national accounts. It offers four principles for national ocean accounting and discusses methods for measuring and valuing ocean assets and their rise and decline. The paper paves the way to implement already-agreed statistical standards and new innovations in national accounting for the ocean, enabling the national accounts to become a more useful tool for creating a sustainable ocean economy.

The lead authors of this paper are Eli P. Fenichel, Ben Milligan and Ina Porras. Contributing authors include Ethan T. Addicott, Ragnar Árnasson, Michael Bordt, Samy Djavidnia, Anthony Dvarskas, Erica Goldman, Kristin Grimsrud, Glenn-Marie Lange, John Matuszak, Umi Muawanah, Martin Quaas, François Soulard, Niels Vestergaard and Junjie Zhang.

On 22 July 2020, ‘National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’ was launched through a webinar ‘Beyond GDP: National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’,  moderated by Secretariat team member Eliza Northrop and featuring author Eli Fenichel; Canada’s Ocean Panel Sherpa, Catherine Blewett; and Expert Group members Glenn-Marie Lange and David Obura. Teerapong Praphotjanaporn from the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership and Claire Jolly from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also joined the panel.

The Blue Paper was also featured in the WRI blog post, ‘Without the Ocean, National Accounts Are Incomplete’, by Blue Paper authors Eli Fenichel and Ben Milligan as well as Secretariat team member Eliza Northrop. Nature Sustainability published an adapted version of this Blue Paper.

 

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