OSPAR Special Session on Marine Natural Capital Accounting

14 July 2021

OSPAR held on 13 July 2021 a special meeting on Marine Natural Capital Accounting. More than 60 participants joined the meeting including economists, statisticians, and environmental scientists and policy makers from across the globe. The participants heard presentations on what natural capital accounting is and how it can be used to support decision-making. Experiences were shared from Australia, South Africa, Canada, Finland, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway, and Spain. Also, a first version of natural capital accounts for the OSPAR area was presented, followed by discussions in break-out sessions on potential next steps.


In March 2021, the new economic and environmental framework, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting—Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA), was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission. It marks a major step forward that goes beyond the commonly used statistic of gross domestic product (GDP). This framework ensures that natural capital is recognised in economic reporting as ecosystems deliver important services that generate great benefits for people. NCA and ecosystem accounting are on the global and European agenda and will be considered in OSPAR’s North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2030 which will be launched at OSPAR’s Ministerial meeting on 1 October 2021.

Relevant links shared during the meeting:

https://www.cedelft.eu/en/publications/2113/envionmental-prices-handbook-2017 (this one is in English).

Norwegian Institute for Water Research, NCC project: Marine Ecosystem Accounting (MAREA) for integrated coastal planning in the Oslofjord – current link only available in Norwegian https://www.niva.no/nyheter/nytt-forskningsprosjekt-skal-fore-regnskap-over-oslofjordens-naturverdier-med-fn-system


Natural Capital Accounting in a Marine Protected Area in the Balearic Island (not public yet)

Australia recently finished a pilot ocean account to inform the management of a marine protected area on the south west coast - Geographe Marine Park: Ocean accounting pilot for Geographe Marine Park | EEA (environment.gov.au)

For information on how to perform cost benefit analyses for environmental project:

https://www.rwseconomie.nl/binaries/rwseconomie/documenten/rapporten/2017/10/17/werkwijzer-mkbas-op-het-gebied-van-milieu/Werkwijzer+MKBA%27s+op+het+gebied+van+Milieu+definitief.pdf This is the new guidance document that is required since 2017.

There is a similar document for nature related projects: https://ce.nl/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CE_Delft_7J94_Werkwijzer_Natuur_DEF.pdf These two guidance documents replace the document 2004 report by Ruijgrok, Brouwer & Verbruggen.

GOAP - info@oceanaccounts.org