03.07.18 | Cheri Jensen

We all rely on services provided by nature … and that includes our oceans.

But every day decisions are made at all levels of government and business that fail to take them into account. Until we are in the habit of fully valuing natural assets in our planning processes at all levels, we’re missing the big picture in our investment decisions – and that puts our valuable marine systems at risk.


This week, heads of state, marine industry leaders, ocean advocates, and policy makers will gather at the 5th Annual World Ocean Summit in Mexico to discuss how human activity must be balanced with the long-term health of oceans. Critical topics include sustainable seafood, marine debris, and ocean governance.

The purpose of the Summit is to explore the depths of the ocean’s most challenging problems while examining new possibilities for sustainable use. Widely recognized as the most important global gathering on oceans, the event will assemble over 360 global leaders to engage in a constructive and solutions-focused dialogue. Organized by The Economist Group, the Summit will feature a variety of experts, decision-makers, and leading voices for ocean sustainability, from Sylvia Earle to Richard Branson.

Our understanding of the economic value of our oceans is deepening as we learn more about coastal aquaculture, commercial fishing, blue carbon sequestration rates, and the public’s willingness to pay to maintain biodiversity. To have an impact these understandings must be shared with the decision-makers who can push for policy change.

Participating in the summit this week is Earth Economics’ Senior Economist and Program Director for Ecosystem Services Valuation, Maya Kocian. With over a decade of experience valuing natural capital across multiple ecosystems – and a lifelong love of the marine world - Ms. Kocian is a leading voice in advocating for and applying ecosystem services valuation to the protection of our oceans.

To learn more about Maya’s work or Earth Economics’ marine valuation services, get in touch!

Senior Economist Maya Kocian outside of office hours.

Senior Economist Maya Kocian outside of office hours.

1 “Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” by R. Geyer et al., Science Advances