Economic value of the Pacific Ocean to the Pacific Island Countries and Territories

The purpose of this report, written by Henrike Seidel & Padma N. Lal, is to provide an overview of the known economic contributions of sectors associated with the Pacific Ocean within the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) boundaries.

Beqa Island, Fiji. Photo: IUCNHelen Pippard

Due to the difficulties in obtaining consistent sets of economic value measures, in this report gross value product measure has generally been used together with employment figures. Economic value estimates provided in this report reflect empirical data that could be accessed from published literature, national, and regional statistics and secondary data from national governments, NGOs, and independent consultants. Global, regional, and national databases were consulted for values on national statistics to ensure a consistent approach to estimation. This study has revealed that there are many data gaps and information challenges, which will require targeted primary research using a consistent methodology and value measures across the region. It is thus but a first step towards understanding the economic contribution of the oceans resources to the economies of the PICTs, as well as the economic value of healthy Pacific Oceans.

As a first step towards any Pacific Ocean-wide response to the environmental threats, primary research using consistent methodology needs to be undertaken to develop baseline information on the economic contribution of key activities associated with the Pacific Ocean in the PICTs and other sub-regions. In addition, targeted economic valuation of goods and services associated with key ecosystems in the Pacific is also warranted if evidence based policy advice is to be provided in relations to the economic costs of business as usual on ecosystems.

Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of the Leaders of the Pacific nations, the politicians and governments, and all key stakeholders including the public at large, to take this information and act for the sustainability of the Pacific Ocean, even if it may mean moving beyond the traditional comfort zones.

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