Australia’s marine and coastal environments contribute to our economy and social wellbeing. Our ocean ecosystems clean and regulate our air and water. They also provide vital habitats and breeding grounds for a rich array of species.
Ocean accounts organise data so we can describe the complex environmental and economic systems present in our oceans. We use them to inform decisions about how we manage our oceans.
Ocean accounts compile information from diverse disciplines on ocean-based attributes and activities, including:
- coral reefs
- resource management.
Ocean accounts can help us to make better decisions about how we manage our marine ecosystems and resources. These resources are connected and are shared by all people on our planet.
Ocean accounts can help decision makers in the private and public sectors. It helps them better understand the long-term implications of their decisions.
Ocean accounts can involve:
- tracking the size and changing structure of the ocean economy and the condition of the marine environment
- identifying the jobs and industries which rely on specific ocean ecosystems.
Australia participates in the UN-supported High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. As part of this, Australia is supporting the development of 2 ocean account pilots.
Ocean accounting for the environment is still at the early stages of development. Both pilots will test and apply the Technical Guidance on Ocean Accounting for Sustainable Development. This guidance is a preliminary consultation draft. It was developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Lessons learnt through the pilots will inform ongoing development of guidelines and standards for ocean accounting.
Ocean account for Geographe Marine Park
This pilot project will be completed by October 2020. It will:
- provide structured environmental, social and economic information to inform ongoing management of the marine park
- improve understanding of how ocean accounts can help us to sustainably manage the world’s marine resources
- trial the draft Technical Guidance for ocean accounts in an Australian context.
Ocean waste account for Samoa
This pilot project will be completed by December 2020. It is a partnership between the:
- Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
- Australian Government
- United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The pilot will look at pollution caused by land-based tourism. It will help inform waste management decisions.
This pilot aims to:
- improve how we use ocean accounts for national ocean policy and governance
- trial draft Technical Guidance for oceans accounts.
We also hope to use the pilot outcomes to inform Australia’s Pacific Ocean Litter Project: this project aims to reduce leakage of single-use plastics into our oceans.
The information gathered from the pilot will be based on tourist activity prior to COVID-19.
For information about the project contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pilot will build on 2 previous Samoan pilot accounts. These explored:
- the sustainable development of the tourism industry, including the economic contribution of tourism and resource use by tourists (water and electricity initially)
- solid waste generation in Upolu.