The newly released Positive Oceans Index ranks the best countries around the world for protecting their oceans, with Australia taking the top spot.
The brand-new study released by sustainable travel company Positive Travel analyzes how countries protect their ocean and marine life, examining four key elements: marine biodiversity; coastal development and infrastructure; leisure activities, and conservation and regeneration.
The eco-travel enterprise worked alongside 30 organizations, including global institutions, boards, ministries of environment, local NGOs, universities, and research centers to compile the study.
Australia’s neighbor New Zealand was ranked in second place, followed by Canada and Malaysia tied for third, with Papua New Guinea taking the fifth spot. The USA was listed 15th in the list, but came in seventh place, tied with Costa Rica, Seychelles and Ecuador.
The researchers took into account various factors surrounding marine life, conservation and tourism.
Within marine biodiversity, the study focused on the diversity and maintenance of different marine life; the coastal development and infrastructure indicator examines the coastal tourism and living infrastructure and how this impacts waste, pollution and other factors affecting ocean health; leisure activities looks at the various coastal activities and how these impact the environment and local communities while conservation and regeneration takes into account the measures, laws and actions being put in place to protect the country’s oceans.
Australia was crowned in first place after ranking highest for marine biodiversity, second for coastal development and infrastructure, seventh for conservation and regeneration, and tenth for leisure activities.
Canada, which came third overall, scored the highest for coastal development and infrastructure, Malaysia which also came joint third scored highest for leisure activities, while Mexico came in top for conservation and regeneration.
Within each of the indicators a subset of four to five elements has been examined to award each indicator score. The indicator scores were averaged to create a total score for each country.
Check out the full research and results of the Positive Oceans Index here.