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05/10/2022 | At this year’s 12th Scientific Symposium of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), Professor Raimund Bleischwitz will shine a light on the blue economy and the closely related topic of ocean accounting as means to sustainably manage the oceans. The conference takes place from October 10 - 15 at Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

Bleischwitz, an expert in environmental and resource economy, will address participants on October 11 at 9:45 am, as one of four keynote speakers.

During his talk he will look into emerging blue economy activities and their contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and elaborate on ocean accounting perspectives, including metrics on natural capital and ecosystem services.

The keynote address also marks Professor Bleischwitz’ first participation at the WIOMSA conference in his role as scientific director of ZMT.

He says: “ZMT holds a long-standing partnership with WIOMSA having been a member of the association for many years. I am happy and feel very honoured to have been invited as keynote speaker to this year’s event. We are at a pivotal point in time when protection and sustainable use of the ocean are at a crossroads. It is therefore important to look at new ways such as ocean accounting to achieve SDGs and for sustainable ocean management.”



What are ocean accounts?

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) defines ocean accounting as follows in a policy brief on their website:

“Ocean accounts organise ocean data (social, environmental and economic) into a common framework, using the same structures as found in existing national accounts of national statistical offices or finance ministries. The integration of these data mean ocean accounts go beyond the gross domestic product (GDP) headline indicator of national accounts, measuring ocean contribution to society and progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ocean accounts provide a common information infrastructure for ocean policy, marine spatial planning, environmental management and international reporting. Pilot projects around the world suggest that they can be compiled incrementally using existing data, with modest investment in cross-government collaborations and international sharing of lessons learned.”

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