Insuring Australia’s marine future



Happy kid playing with scoop standing near the ocean © jovannig -|Happy kid playing with scoop standing near the ocean © jovannig -

Insuring Australia’s marine future looks at the increasing risks to Australia’s oceans, the growing evidence of the benefits of MPAs, and the low cost of managing them.

Insuring Australia’s marine future author, CPD fellow and former World Bank economist Caroline Hoisington contends that, ‘stronger marine ecosystems will be the basis for economic benefits to our communities and businesses’.

Global marine resources are under pressure. Oceans are damaged in much of the world by overfishing, pollution, nutrient loadings and decreased oxygen levels. Climate change adds to the risk of ecological collapse – with potentially catastrophic social and economic impacts.

Australian seas are in better condition than many, but face the same threats. As a leader in declaring a national network of marine protected areas and sanctuary zones, Australia has taken a critical step toward insuring the future of the industries and regional communities that rely on a healthy marine environment. Yet to benefit economically, Australia needs to lead the world in practice as well as on paper.

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Australia’s oceans provide a wide range of values, worth over $69 billion per year. Australia has the world’s third largest marine estate, with very high biodiversity and many unique species.

Insights for Policymakers

Lessons from Australia’s Past National Wellbeing Approaches identifies several lessons for contemporary policymakers. These include:

  • Historic approaches in Australia were largely successful despite the policy environment they inhabited being less wellbeing-literate
  • The importance of creating enduring cultural and practical changes for public officials
  • Frameworks that include clear guidance are more durable and effective than those focused on measurement alone
  • A public mandate for wellbeing acts as a guardrail against politicisation of the public service
  • Environmental sustainability is an indispensable component of a successful approach