Marine Newsletter #8 – June 2010

Highlights from the Marine Programme at GRID-Arendal for June 2010

1. Featured Project

Environmental aspects of port construction and dredging around the world’s blue carbon habitats
GRID-Arendal has with UNEP GPA and IADC (International Association for Dredging Contractors) proposed terms of reference for the establishment of a new working group under the auspices of the environmental commission of PIANC – the International Navigation Association.

The task of the Working Group would be to produce a ‘state of practice’ guidance synthesising the latest science on effects of dredging and port construction activities on vegetative coastal habitats (such as seagrass, mangrove, salt marsh and estuarine wetlands). Guidelines will use case studies to demonstrate techniques for minimising these effects. The Terms of Reference for this working group are currently under consideration and if approved the working group will have two years to complete its work.

This guidance document would complement the forthcoming Guidelines for dredging and port construction around coral reefs, which is due to be published in 2010.

For more information, please contact Emily Corcoran.

2. Data and Products
Dead planet, living planet: Biodiversity and ecosystem restoration for sustainable development
Biodiversity and ecosystems deliver crucial services to humankind – from food security to keeping our waters clean, buffering against extreme weather, providing medicines to recreation and adding to the foundation of human culture. Together these services have been estimated to be worth over 21–72 trillion USD every year – comparable to the World Gross National Income of 58 trillion USD in 2008. This latest report in the Rapid Response Assessment series was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on the 3rd June 2010 as part of the 2010 World Environment Day celebrations. The report and associated products can be downloaded at:

For more information, please contact Janet F. Skaalvik.

3. Events

Recent events
Seminars/meetings/conferences related to the marine environment where representatives from GRID-Arendal have participated:

  • World Environment Day Celebrations, Rwanda, 3-5 June 2010
  • Workshop on the Design of Marine Protected Areas for Hydrothermal-Vent and Cold-Seep Ecosystems Potentially Threatened by Human Activities in the Deep Sea, Dinard, France, 31 May-4 June
  • Arctic Energy Conference, Tromsø, Norway, 3-4 June
  • The second meetings of two of the working groups of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP): the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) working group and the Open Ocean (OO) working group, Arendal, Norway, 21-25 June
  • Minerals of the Ocean-5 and Deep Sea Minerals and Mining-2 join conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, 27 June-2 July – highlighting the UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates and the Pacific Deep Sea Minerals and Mining Assessment

4. Other

Did you know that…
…more than 90% of global trade is carried by sea?
Source: International Maritime Organisation
…Singapore is the world’s busiest port?
Source: UNCTAD

Our favourite website of the month

Ports Environmental Network-Africa:

If you would like your website to be featured here, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

EarthWire Marine
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For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter, please visit

The Marine Newsletter will take a summer break during July. Next edition will be out in August.

Wednesday 30 Jun 2010