Marine Newsletter #9 – August 2010

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

1. Featured Project

OCEANIDS - Ocean Commons for Environmental and Natural resources Information and Data Sharing

New areas of the seabed and deep sea are facing management challenges related to the potential impacts of various human activities. The global community, with developing states and small island developing states in particular, requires credible, science-based marine data and information for purposes that include support to: 1) scientific investigation, 2) environmental and natural resource management and 3) reporting on the state of the marine environment in an overall effort to promote the sustainable use of the oceans.

OCEANIDS seeks to make relevant interdisciplinary and multithematic public marine data searchable, accessible and meaningful to users by combining the development of an ease-of-use web platform with GRID-Arendal’s marine capacity building activities and initiatives. OCEANIDS will primarily function as a searchable catalogue of publicly available datasets needed to support scientific, management and policy decisions.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin

2. Data and Products

Methane Gas Hydrates website
The United Nations Environment Programme under the auspices of GRID-Arendal, is in the process of compiling a Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates. This product is designed to provide credible, science-based information in an unbiased format for use by the general public and decision makers. Expertise from 7 national research groups (US, Canada, Germany, Norway, Japan, India, Korea), industry (Statoil, Schlumberger) and NGOs (Forum for the Future) has been assembled to guide the development of the report. As a first milestone, a project website has now been launched:

The site (designed for informing experts and policy makers) contains details on the project, topical news, an events calendar and a multimedia gallery.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin

3. Events

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

  • First meeting of the Information Management and Indicators Working Group (IMAIG) of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP), Geneva, Switzerland, 12-14 July – considering the draft methodologies of the five water systems.
  • Meetings with various Norwegian Ambassadors, Oslo, Norway, 23 August – set up by the Norwegian government to give Norwegian companies an opportunity to discuss relevant issues with the Ambassadors to the countries where they have an interest. Marine staff met with the Ambassadors to Bangladesh, Chile, Madagascar, Nicaragua (for Costa Rica), Nigeria (for the Gulf of Guinea region), Portugal (for Cape Verde), Tanzania, and the UN in New York, to discuss cooperation within the UNEP Shelf Programme and broader marine activities.
  • Meeting with Chilean Ambassador to Norway, Oslo, Norway, 23 August – discussing continued cooperation under the UNEP Shelf Programme.

Upcoming events

1 September
Arendal, Norway: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit visit GRID-Arendal as a part of their official tour of Aust-Agder county. They will be given a tour of the office, and an orientation about the work  being done with regards to The International Year of Biodiversity.

6-7 September
Winchester, UK: Steering Committee meeting for InterRidge.
9 September
Ottawa, Canada: North American Regional Consultation Meeting for the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook-5 Process.
12-16 September
Montreal, Canada: World Energy Congress.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin

13-16 September
Washington D.C., USA: Arctic Ocean Review workshop and PAME II meeting, organised by the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME).
For more information, please contact Tiina Kurvits

20-22 September
Bergen, Norway: 12th UNEP Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans.
For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen

4. Other

EarthWire Marine user survey
GRID-Arendal's EarthWire Marine news service has been online for one year, and therefore we have made a survey to find out what its users - and even non-users - think about it. Please take the survey and help us improve the EarthWire Marine! It is open until 12 September.
Take survey here! 

Did you know that…
…two of the world's largest Marine Protected Areas, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati) and   the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (Hawaii, USA), have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites as of 1st Aug 2010? Both MPAs are important areas for coral reefs.
Sources: Phoenix Islands Protected Area and  NOAA
…cold water corals are found in waters all over the world, and in Europe they form a belt of about 4500 kilometres? In comparison, the length of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is 2300 kilometres.
Source: HERMES - Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas 

Our favorite website of the month

International Coral Reef Initiative

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

EarthWire Marine
EarthWire Marine is a free online news service provided by GRID-Arendal. You can get marine environment news e-mailed to you every day or sign up to an RSS feed. Registering is simple. We pledge to protect your privacy, and users can at any time unsubscribe from the service. To subscribe visit the EarthWire Marine website.

For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter, please visit our Marine Programme website.

Tuesday 31 Aug 2010