Preface and Acknowledgements

Table of Contents



Preface


Purpose of this document

  • This document describes a statistical framework for measuring the ocean, its importance to people and what people are doing to change it. The document provides some guidance on how to use the framework and what to do with the results. The framework is based on the principle that information is more powerful when it can be reliably combined with other information. Measuring one ecosystem in one location is useful, but if we have the same measures for many ecosystems, we can set priorities about which are the most important to protect or to rehabilitate so that we may retain or enhance their long-term values to society. To combine information from different sources, they must be either collected according to a shared measurement framework or converted to one to be consistent. This document provides a starting point for such a measurement framework.

  • This document is intended to be relevant to different audiences, including but not limited to policy experts, scientists, and statisticians. The intent is to provide a common measurement framework that demonstrates how scientific information can be integrated using environmental-economic and other complementary approaches to address national policy priorities.

Importance of the ocean

  • There is much agreement that the ocean is important and threatened. Unless we have coherent measures, we will never know how important and how threatened. From fisheries to marine-based tourism, our ocean is a vital source of livelihood, employment, nutrition and economic growth and it is essential in balancing our climate. Marine and coastal ecosystems are the first line of defence from ocean storms, coastal erosion, sea level rise and saltwater inundation and they are among the richest sources of biodiversity on our blue planet. Yet, rampant marine pollution, ocean acidification and warming, destructive fishing practices, unsustainable or unregulated extraction of marine resources, unsustainable trade and transport, development and unplanned urbanisation, and inadequate coastal and marine governance threaten the health of our ocean and its capacity to nurture sustainable development of, for example, consumptive fisheries and non-consumptive marine-based tourism.

Global commitment to sustainable development of the ocean

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries—developed and developing—in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

  • SDG 14 is established “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. How we manage the ocean is also implied in several other SDGs relating to poverty, food, equality, economic growth, disaster risk, sustainable consumption and production, climate change and terrestrial ecosystems. This framework addresses many of these targets and related indicators. It does so by providing guidance on integrating ocean-relevant data, including data on the state of the ocean, our use of the ocean, our impact on the ocean, its impact on us and what we’re doing for ocean protection.

The need for partnerships

  • This document represents the contribution of more than 120 statisticians, scientists and governance experts from governments, international organisations, universities, the private sector, and research institutes. It addresses SDG 17, which calls for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalization of global partnerships for sustainable development, by encouraging partnerships (e.g., Global Ocean Accounts Partnership) to focus on the global issue of sustainable management of the ocean. No single organisation has the mandate or the influence to improve how we change, benefit from or protect the ocean. It requires collaboration across levels, countries, disciplines, and sectors.

Commitment to implementing the framework

  • This document is only the starting point for a comprehensive statistical framework that needs to be tested and expanded. Several collaborators are working with countries on pilot studies and have committed to integrate the framework into their research and their results and experiences into the framework. Feedback from piloting and research will strengthen the framework over time, so that it can be proposed as part of an international statistical standard.

The role of partners

  • The Global Ocean Accounts Partnership represents a commitment to improving, harmonising, and applying ocean-related data in accordance with international standards and in keeping with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Secretariat for the Partnership is hosted by the Global Water Institute at the University of New South Wales. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is a founding partner.

  • Several UN agencies have contributed to the document and are participating in pilot studies. ESCAP initiated the first Asia and the Pacific Regional Expert Workshop on Ocean Accounts in August of 2018. During 2019, it supported pilot studies in Asia and the Pacific (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Samoa, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam). ESCAP continues to lead on statistical development of the framework.

Contribution to the SEEA Revision

Overview of the framework and document

  • The Ocean Accounts Framework adapts two international statistical standards: the System of National Accounts (SNA) and the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA). The SNA provides a set of recommendations on how to compile monetary measures of economic activity, including a set of coherent, consistent and integrated macroeconomic accounts. It also provides and overview of economic processes, recording how production is distributed among consumers, businesses, government and foreign nations. SNA accounts are one of the fundamental building blocks of macroeconomic statistics forming a basis for economic analysis and policy formulation.

  • The SEEA provides a framework that integrates physical environmental data with monetary data from the SNA, to provide a more comprehensive and multipurpose view of interrelationships between the economy and the environment, and the stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets, as they bring benefits to humanity. The SEEA contains internationally agreed concepts, definitions, classifications accounting rules and tables for producing internationally comparable statistics and accounts, which are interoperable with the SNA. The SEEA can be applied not only to data on fish stocks, but also to sources of land-based pollutants and the value of ecosystem services such as coastal protection and recreation. The Ocean Accounts Framework is based on the principles, components, and classifications of the SEEA and extends them, where necessary, to better apply to the ocean.

  • The current scope of the Ocean Accounts Framework is to support the compilation of spatially detailed national-level accounts covering maritime zones subject to sovereignty or national jurisdiction, namely: internal waters, the territorial sea and contiguous zone, archipelagic waters, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and/or the continental shelf claims. This scope can also include particular areas within a maritime zone such as a particular bay, province, or protected area within a territorial sea. However, the framework is also applicable to the compilation of global accounts, recognizing some conceptual challenges in accounting for activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

  • This document is divided into five main sections: 

This section introduces the components of the Ocean Accounts Framework, including scientific and statistical foundations.

This section introduces the components of the Ocean Accounts Framework, including scientific and statistical foundations.

Structure of Ocean Accounts

This section links the components to their foundations in existing statistical frameworks and describes the recommended adaptations and extensions.

Process guidance for compilation of Ocean Accounts

This section serves as a “Quick Start Guide” describes the recommended process for implementing Ocean Accounts, including setting priorities, establishing a shared spatial framework among stakeholders and compiling data.

Use and maintenance of Ocean Accounts

This section suggests other considerations including producing indicators, data sources, policy and governance use cases, research use cases, and enabling factors such as institutional, regulatory and legal frameworks.

Research agenda for ocean accounting

This section describes in more detail the areas in which more work is required, such as establishing agreement on spatial units, ecosystem classifications, ecosystem services classification, valuation approaches, application of modelling and remote sensing, and new indicator development.

Areas of future work

  • This Guidance is a work in progress, with ongoing efforts to develop the concepts and methodologies described within this document. For an extensive list of research questions, the reader is directed to 5. Research agenda for ocean accounting and Appendix 6.8. Testing of various aspects of ocean accounting, the development of concepts, methodologies, and account structure are described below. Many of the issues described are currently informing, or will benefit from, the SEEA Ecosystems revisions process.

  • Future ocean accounts pilot studies are encouraged to test the following:

    • A conceptual framework and classification of characteristic economic activities to support Ocean Economy Satellite Accounting.

    • Global data sources (e.g., global shorelines, bathymetry) for national applications.

    • The size and shape of spatial units for near-shore and offshore areas.

    • The IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology against national and international classifications.

    • 3-dimensional (volume) spatial frameworks, consistent with area-based (2-dimensional) accounting.

    • Scope boundaries of ocean accounts, considering jurisdictional and administrative boundaries.

  • Several concepts and classifications are also under development, where a synthesis of existing research is being conducted for:

    • Linking ecosystem processes with ecosystem services classification,

    • Linking ecosystem condition to ecosystem service provisioning,

    • The monetary valuation of ecosystem assets and flows,

    • Allocating the wealth of corporations, households, and governments to the ocean,

    • Disaggregation of different social group beneficiaries, with reference to marginalised groups recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

    • Compiling and documenting policy use cases for ocean accounts.

  • With regards to the framework of ocean accounts, the following areas are under development:

    • The extension of SNA 2008 to include produced capital (e.g., ports and harbours) in asset accounts,

    • The inclusion of human capital (e.g., ocean knowledge and experience) within ocean wealth accounts, related to measures of cultural ecosystem services,

    • Developing a comprehensive view of monetary asset accounts, that includes the future flows of SNA and non-SNA benefits,

    • The ‘Combined presentation’ of assets, conditions and flows with spatial and sectoral disaggregation.,

    • Placing the ocean economy within the context of the whole economy, beyond satellite accounting approaches to derive equivalents of national balance sheet, balance of trade (imports/exports), fixed capital formation, depreciation/depletion, and non-market goods and services.

Implementation and finalisation

  • This document will be revised on an ongoing basis throughout 2021. The Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting (Sydney, November 12–15, 2019) reviewed the results of the pilot projects, results from consultations on this document, and recent advances in ocean accounting. Further, we hope to maintain and expand the expert group into the foreseeable future to continue to test, expand and implement the Ocean Accounts Framework on an enduring basis. 

  • We encourage feedback on this document from everyone interested in sustainable management of the ocean, including but not limited to:

Scientists (in the broadest sense)

Are encouraged to test the framework and address the research agenda in their research. Do the concepts, classifications and methods work for you? If not, how would you modify them? Suggested reading: Introduction to Ocean AccountsStructure of Ocean AccountsResearch agenda for ocean accounting

Scientists (in the broadest sense)

Are encouraged to test the framework and address the research agenda in their research. Do the concepts, classifications and methods work for you? If not, how would you modify them? Suggested reading: Introduction to Ocean AccountsStructure of Ocean AccountsResearch agenda for ocean accounting

Statisticians

Are encouraged to review the framework in terms of producing official statistics. Does it fit your user needs for nationally relevant statistics on the ocean? If not, how could the framework or document be improved? Suggested reading: Introduction to Ocean AccountsStructure of Ocean AccountsProcess guidance for compilation of Ocean AccountsUse and maintenance of Ocean AccountsResearch agenda for ocean accounting

Multi-stakeholder working groups engaged in ocean management

Are encouraged to conduct pilot studies to test the framework. Suggested reading: Introduction to Ocean AccountsProcess guidance for compilation of Ocean Accounts

Policy and governance experts, including governance officials

Are encouraged to review the framework in terms of its usefulness in effectively organizing and presenting reliable information you need to make informed decisions. What could be added to make this more useful for your purposes? Suggested reading → Introduction to Ocean AccountsUse and maintenance of Ocean Accounts

 

  • Please submit comments, questions and suggestions to the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership Secretariat (info@oceanaccounts.org). A comment form is provided at the GOAP website.

 

Acknowledgements


Partnership and international commitments

  • This Guidance is the principal knowledge product of an ongoing global collaboration process, referred to hereafter as the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP). The GOAP brings together diverse member institutions who have a common interest to ensure that the values and benefits of oceans are recognized and accounted for in decision-making about social and economic development. Membership of the Partnership is open to national governments, intergovernmental institutions, inclusive representative bodies for the private sector, and research-intensive institutions that have been granted formal not-for-profit status in their country of origin. Members make a mutual non-contractual commitment to common Partnership Terms of Reference.

  • The Global Ocean Accounts Partnership was launched by the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on behalf of the United Nations in response to the following international commitments:

    • SDG 14 and the ten associated Targets (see Indicators for sustainable development) in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), calling on all countries and stakeholders to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

    • SDG Target 15.9, calling on all countries and stakeholders, by 2020, to integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts.

    • SDG Target 17.19, calling on all countries and stakeholders, by 2030, to build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement Gross Domestic Product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries.

    • UN General Assembly Resolution 71/312 entitled Our Ocean, our future: a call for action, which inter alia stresses (1) the importance of enhancing understanding of the health and role of our ocean and the stressors on its ecosystems, including through assessments on the state of the ocean, based on science and traditional knowledge systems, and (2) the need to further increase marine scientific research to inform and support decision-making, and to promote knowledge hubs and networks to enhance the sharing of scientific data, best practices and know-how.

    • UN Statistical Commission Decision 49/110, which inter alia (1) requested that ocean statistics be integrated in the work of the revision process of the System for Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) Experimental Ecosystem Accounting, and (2) encouraged implementation of the SEEA Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 

    • ESCAP Resolution E/ESCAP/RES/73/5 encouraging member States to continue to enhance their capacity to sustainably manage the ocean and requests the Secretariat to support current and new regional partnerships for enhancing data and statistical capacities for SDG14 in the region.

    • ESCAP Resolution E/ESCAP/RES/72/6 requesting the Secretariat, inter alia, to strengthen support to member States in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda in an integrated approach, inter alia, with analytical products, technical services and capacity building initiatives through knowledge-sharing products and platforms, and to enhance data and statistical capacities.

    • ESCAP Resolution E/ESCAP/RES/72/9 requesting the Secretariat, inter alia, to undertake an assessment of capacity development needs of the countries in Asia and the Pacific for the implementation of SDG14.

  • The process to develop this Guidance has comprised the following steps to date:

    • Assessment by ESCAP to gain a better understanding of the capacity development needs in relation to SDG 14 in Asia and the Pacific to help inform ESCAP’s work in this area.

    • Preparation of 10 Issue Briefs and associated summary presentations, featuring written contributions from 122 subject matter experts from more than 25 countries. Each Brief discusses a specific aspects of ocean data and statistics, in particular options and challenges concerning the compilation of Ocean Accounts, and the use of these accounts in different governance contexts.

    • The Asia and the Pacific Regional Expert Workshop on Ocean Accounts, hosted by ESCAP in Bangkok from 1–3 August 2018, as the inaugural event of the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership. The purpose of the Workshop was to facilitate a community of practice around standards for ocean statistics, both in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. The 85 participants included experts in ocean statistics, sciences, and policy from national governments and research institutions as well as regional and international organisations.

    • Several countries are engaging with partners to conduct pilot studies of the Ocean Accounts Framework. The principle behind the pilots is to (1) understand the statistical requirements and governance context for addressing national (or sub-national) priorities and (2) to engage multi-stakeholder working groups to test relevant aspects of the accounts. To date, related pilots have been initiated by Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Samoa, Thailand and Viet Nam.

    • The Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting on 12-15 November 2019 was co-hosted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), ESCAP and the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, supported by the World Bank Blue Economy Program. The 100+ participants at this workshop provided input to this Guidance, provided feedback on seven Ocean Accounts pilots, showcased research and best practices, and made plans for improving connections between ocean data and ocean governance.

Coordinating and Lead Authors

  • Michael Bordt (ESCAP), Ben Milligan (University of New South Wales), Kenneth Findlay (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), and Teerapong Praphotjanaporn (ESCAP) served as Coordinating Lead Authors of this Guidance.

  • Substantial written and editorial contributions were provided by: Zeba Ali (Canada), Jillian Campbell (UN Environment), Lyutong Cai (ESCAP), Charles Colgan (Middlebury Institute of International Studies), Samy Djavidnia (GEO Blue Planet initiative), Anthony Dvarskas (Stony Brook University), Eli Fenichel (Yale University), Giuseppe “Joe“ Filoso (Canada), Jordan Gacutan (University of New South Wales), Philip James (SPC/UK DEFRA), Coulson Lantz (University of New South Wales and City of San Diego), Essam Yassin Mohammed (IIED), Ina Porras (IIED/DFID), François Soulard (Canada), Sanjay Srivastava (ESCAP), and Andy Steven (CSIRO Australia).

Reviewers

  • Valuable contributions and advice were received during the development of this Guidance from: Jeff Adkins (USA), Alessandra Alfieri (UNSD), Yannick Beaudoin (GRID-Arendal), Annelies Boerema (University of Antwerp), Jessica Chan (UNSD), Alison Fairbrass (University College London), Monica Grasso (USA), Gaetano Grilli (Cefas UK), Rocky Harris (UK), Marko Javorsek (UNSD), Claire Jolly (OECD), Miguel Angel Jorge (World Bank), Leota Kosi Latu (SPREP), Tiziana Luisetti (Cefas UK), Márcia Marques (Universidade de Aveiro), Peter Meadows (Australia), Sanjesh Naidu (ESCAP), Carl Obst (IDEEA Group), Jan-Erik Petersen (European Environment Agency), Rosimeiry Gomes Portela (Conservation International), Marc Saner (University of Ottawa), Emily Smail (USA), Michael Vardon (Australia National University), Wendy Watson-Wright (The Ocean Frontier Institute), and Wenxi Zhu (IOC-UNESCO WESTPAC).

ESCAP Pilot participants

  • This Guidance has benefitted greatly from the enthusiasm and technical excellence of the participants in the ESCAP pilot studies: Chen Shang (China); Huang Qi (China); Shi Jianbin (China); Ye Haiyuan (China); Zhang Hongke (China); Zhang Qiufeng (China); Zhu Chunquan (China); Zhao Peng (China); Li Feixue (China); Jiang Hongyou (China); Zhang Yunlan (China); Zhu Zuhao (China); Zuo Ping (China); Wang Qian (China); Xing Wenxiu (China); Zhu Zuhao (China); Jiang Hongyou (China); Li Feixue (China); Li Li (China); Yang Yang (China); Zhang Yunlan (China); Luo Huilin (China); Zhao Peng (China); Yuan Xiutang (China); Guo Yue (China); Tan Lun (China); Siti Zakiah binti Muhamad Isa (Malaysia); Ismail bin Abdul Rahman (Malaysia); Khazlita Adzim binti Abdol Aziz (Malaysia); Husni Alhan bin Md Salimun (Malaysia); Azizan Abu Samah (Malaysia); Rizman Idid (Malaysia); Jillian Ooi (Malaysia); Wee Cheah (Malaysia); Loh Kar Hoe (Malaysia); Sahadev Sharma (Malaysia); Illyani Ibrahim (Malaysia); Mary George (Malaysia); Sumiani Yusoff (Malaysia); Aziz S. (Malaysia); Wafa (Malaysia); Papalii Benjamin Sila (Samoa); Leota Aliielua Salani (Samoa); Kitiona Pogi (Samoa); Robert Ah Sam (Samoa); Asiata Gerard Anapu (Samoa); Frances Reupena (Samoa); Silafau Paul Meredith (Samoa); Kanjana Phumalee (Thailand); Narissara Chanpet (Thailand); Arthit Kraaomkaew (Thailand); Yuwanan Santitaweeroek (Thailand); Krisada Bamrungwong (Thailand); Katesaraporn Wimonrat (Thailand); Pinsak Suraswadi (Thailand); Ukkrit Satapoomin (Thailand); Nguyen The Chinh (Viet Nam); Kim Thi Thuy Ngoc (Viet Nam); Dang Thi Phuong Ha (Viet Nam); Le Thi Le Quyen (Viet Nam); Hoang Viet Anh (Viet Nam); Ngo Nhu Ve (Viet Nam).

Workshop participants

  • We would also like to acknowledge the guidance and contributions provided by the participants of the Asia and the Pacific Regional Expert Workshop on Ocean Accounts in Bangkok in August of 2018: Zeba Ali (Canada),  Atifah Binti Mohd Alwi (Malaysia), Wycliff Bakeo (Vanuatu), Om Bhandari (Thailand), Caridad Canales (ESCAP), Narissara Chenpet (Thailand), Youjin Choe (UNITAR), Ratana Chuenpagdee (Canada), Daniel Clarke (ESCAP), Elisa Maria da Silva (Timor Leste), Faviana Bosco De Sousa (Timor Leste), Sangita Dubey (UN-FAO), Maria Corazon Ebarvia (PEMSEA), Mark Elisha Eigenraam (IDEEA Group), Achmad Fahrudin (Indonesia), Giuseppe “Joe“ Filoso (Canada), Eugenia Merayo Garcia (IIED), Mary George (University of Malaya), Gaetano Grilli (Cefas UK), Kavinda Gunasekara (AIT), Rikke Munk Hansen (ESCAP), A.K. Enamul Haque (Bangladesh), Ampai Harakunarak (Thailand), Natalie Harms (ESCAP), Shanaka Herath (University of Wollongong), Jeremy Hills (Climalysis), Asaad Irawan (Indonesia), Md. Rafiqul Islam (Bangladesh), Philip James (The Pacific Community), Soparatana Jarusombat (Thailand), Thitiwat Kaew-Amdee (Thailand), Ahmed Khan (IIED), Sooyeob Kim (ESCAP), Thi Thuy Ngoc Kim (Vietnam), Praewpan Kongprakhon (Thailand), Alan Frendy Koropitan (IPB Indonesia), Bimlesh Krishna (Fiji), Carolyn Kumul (Papua New Guinea), Anastasia Rita Tisiana Dwi Kuswardani (Indonesia), Feixue Li (Nanjing University), Jian Liang (China), Xinming Liu (China), Yilun Luo (ESCAP), Ilham Atho Mohamed (Maldives), Essam Mohammed (IIED), Jose Luiz Moutinho (AIR Centre), Putri Ari Hendra Murti (ASEAN), Aminath Mushfiqa Ibrahim (Maldives), Sanjesh Naidu (ESCAP), Elizabeth Nguyen (AIT), Vivienne Rhea Padura (De La Salle Lipa), Jingjue Pei (ESCAP), Zhao Peng (China), Xuan Luong Pham (Viet Nam), Kanjana Phumalee (Thailand), Rosimeiry Gomes Portela (Conservation International), Somyod Prajunban (Thailand), Ismail Bin Abdul Rahman (Malaysia), Insang Ryu (Republic of Korea), Yuwanan Santitaweeroek (Thailand), Roger Sayre (USA), Christina Schönleber (APRU), Sri Setyarini (Indonesia), Gerald Singh (University of British Columbia), Sirod Sirisup (Thailand), Vong Sok (ASEAN), Suthasinee Sontirat (Thailand), François Soulard (Canada), Sanjay Srivastava (ESCAP), Andy Steven (Australia), Sarah Taylor (SOLSTICE-WIO), Kelera Lawenitekini Tokalau (Fiji), Christopher Charles Tremewan (APRU), Engr. Md Waji Ullah (Bangladesh), Gemma Van Halderen (ESCAP), Michelle Voyer (Australian Centre for Ocean Resources & Security), Katinka Weinberger (ESCAP), Janaka J Wijetunge (University of Peradeniya), and Frank Yrle (AIT).

  • Further guidance and contributions were provided by participants of the First Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting in Sydney in November of 2019: Ethan Addicott (Yale University),  Umaira Ahmed (Maldives), Rear Admiral (Retd) Mohammad Khurshed Alam (Bangladesh), Gerard Tuii Anapu (Samoa), Nafha Aujaaz (Maldives), Khazlita Adzim Abdol Aziz (Malaysia), Zak Baillie (Australia), Anthony Bennie (Australia), Crystal Bradley (Australia), Frances Brown (Samoa), Peter Burneth (Australian National Univeristy), Mario Cabral (Timor-Leste ), Wee Cheah (Malaysia), The Chinh Nguyen (Viet Nam), Charles Colgan (Center for the Blue Economy), Estefânia Luís Simon da Costa (Timor-Leste ), Bikash Kishore Das (Bangladesh), Subramanyam Divvaakar (ESCAP), Jose Ferrer (UNSW), Ken Findlay (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), Keldi Forbes (Canada), Mary George (University of Malaya), Yimnang Golbuu (Palau), Acácio Guterres (Timor-Leste ), Rikke Munk Hansen (ESCAP), Shanaka Herath (University of Technology Sydney), Michael Huang (Ocean Policy Research Institute), Vivian Ilarina (Philippines ), Siti Zakiah binti Muhamad Isa (Malaysia), Musrat Meh Jabin (Bangladesh), Phil James (Independent marine economist), Hongyou Jiang (China), Wenjia Jin (IUCN), David Keith (UNSW), Arthit Kraaomkaew (Thailand), Bimlesh Krishna (Fiji), Fredrick Kuelinad (Papua New Guinea ), Thaung Kyaing (Myanmar), Glenn-Marie Lange (World Bank), Chhan Lay (Cambodia), Feixue Li (Nanjing University), Phuong Loan Dang (Viet Nam), MD Abdul Mannan (Bangladesh), Laurence McCook (World Wide Fund for Nature), Alistair McIlgorm (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security), Reiss McLeod (IDEEA Group), Paul David Meredith (Samoa), Ben Milligan (UNSW), Pakeer Mohideen Amza (Sri Lanka), Niyangama Balasooriyage Monty Ranatunge (Sri Lanka), Shafiya Naeem (Maldives), Sanjesh Naidu (ESCAP), Thi Thuy Ngoc Kim (Viet Nam), Kien Nguyen (Viet Nam), Ngo Nhu Ve (Viet Nam), Eduardo Pereira (Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-sustainability), Stephanie Perkiss (University of Wollongong), Kanjana Phumalee (Thailand), Kitiona Pogi (Samoa), Prapasri Pongwattana (Thailand), John Lourenze Poquiz (Philippines), Ismail bin Abdul Rahman (Malaysia), Yesheng CUI Raymond (UNSW), Russel Reichelt (Australia), Rear Admiral Ruwan Perera (Sri Lanka), Leota Aliielua Salani (Samoa), Husni Alhan Md Salimun (Malaysia), Robert Ah Sam (Samoa), Azizan Bin Abu Samah (Malaysia), Yuwanan Santitaweeroek (Thailand), Ukkrit Satapoomin (Thailand), Nelson Shem (Vanuatu), Jianbin Shi (The Paulson Institute), Papali'i Benjamin Sila (Samoa), Rodolfo Soares (Timor-Leste ), François Soulard (Canada), Andy Steven (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Pinsak Suraswadi (Thailand), Sarah Taylor (National Oceanography Centre), Tony Harrison Tevi (Vanuatu), Van Thanh Nguyen (Viet Nam), Gemma Van Halderen (ESCAP), Michael Vardon (Australian National Univeristy), Katesaraporn Wimonrat (Thailand), Peng Zhao (China), Peng Zheng (DaLian Ocean University), and Ping Zuo (Nanjing University).