Marine Newsletter #2 – December 2009

Highlights from the Marine Programme at GRID-Arendal for December 2009:

1. Featured Project

Coming soon: New Rapid Response Assessment

The GRID Arendal RRA Team are working in collaboration with UNEP, the Global Programme of Action for Land based Sources of Marine Pollution, and the UN Water Wastewater Task Team to produce the next Rapid Response Assessment. This next report in the series will focus on the issue of wastewater and how wastewater is managed. The intention of the report will be to improve understanding of and help develop a case for increased and sustained investment in wastewater management by highlighting what benefits can be gained through improving wastewater management. It is planned that the RRA will be launched on World Water Day in March 2010.

2. Data and Products

Continental Shelf: The Last Maritime Zone

A comprehensive overview report on the status of the process of establishing the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 M.

Written and illustrated by the UNEP Shelf Programme and communications/cartography experts of GRID/Arendal, this report was released on 7 December. The report attempts to give an updated view on the distribution of continental shelf areas worldwide and the implications this will have in the sea floor jurisdiction map while also pointing to the opportunities and challenges that this process is bringing for the international use of the ocean space. Available as hard copies and for download at our website:

A Blue Carbon Fund: The Ocean Equivalent of REDD for Carbon Sequestration in Coastal States

A policy brief prepared as the first follow up step from the Blue Carbon report, disseminated together with the report during Oceans Day at Copenhagen on 14 December. The brief is available at:

3. Events

Recent events

Seminars/meetings/conferences where representatives from the Marine Programme have participated:

  • Visit to GRID-Arendal by Congo Brazzaville’s Minister for Transport, Civil Aviation and Merchant Marine, Mr M. P. A. Coussoud-Mavoungou, 26 November - presentation given on the UNEP Shelf Programme support and our marine activities.
  • Meetings with colleagues at UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya, 30 November - 05 December – discussing strategic planning and work with the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Branch of DEPI for 2010-11, as well as marine input to the UNEP Programme of Work.  
  • Working session of the UNEP Shelf Programme with Bangladeshi delegation, Arendal, Norway, 30 November-11 December – review of the work done so far by the continental shelf team on the bathymetric and seismic data analysis. Mr. Harald Brekke, member of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, also participated during the first week of the working session.
  • Oceans Day event organized by UNEP at the COP15 Climate Summit, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14 December – dissemination of the report Blue Carbon: The Role of Healthy Oceans in Binding Carbon  and the policy brief A Blue Carbon Fund: The Ocean Equivalent of REDD for Carbon Sequestration in Coastal States.
  • The American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, USA, 14-18 December – attending special session on methane gas hydrates.

4. Other

Did you know that…

…introduced just over 25 years ago, the ugly truth about our plastic bag addiction is that society’s consumption rate is now estimated at well over 500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billion) plastic bags annually, or almost 1 million per minute?

…every year each person produces 4 times as much packaging waste as their luggage allowance on a jumbo jet?

Our favourite website of the month

Project Kaisei:

Monday 21 Dec 2009