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Marine Newsletter #16 – March 2011

Highlights from the Marine Programme at GRID-Arendal for March 2011

1. Featured Project

Blue Carbon in the Asia/Pacific Region
UNEP/GRID Arendal commenced a collaborative project in late 2010 to develop and implement a Blue Carbon strategy for the Asia/Pacific region. The project follows on from the publication of UNEP’s Rapid Response Assessment Blue Carbon (Nelleman et al. 2009), which identified the need for information, awareness raising and capacity building services to support coastal communities in protecting and managing their Blue Carbon resources. 

Within this context the project aims to mainstream a Blue Carbon agenda into regional, national and community climate change initiatives in the Asia/Pacific region. The initiative has established a regional Blue Carbon expert working group to provide regional support and direction. This working group currently includes 21 representatives from key regional organizations, participating states, NGOs, research institutions and donor organizations. It is developing a discussion paper that introduces key issues related to blue carbon ecosystems to a regional audience, in order to provoke debate among governments, communities, researchers and the corporate sector on the role of these ecosystems in mitigating climate change.  The discussion paper includes an analysis of socio-economic, environmental and political challenges and opportunities. There is a regional Blue Carbon Forum/workshop planned to follow the completion of the discussion paper, which will bring together stakeholders to collate responses and develop a way forward.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

2. Events

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

  • Presentation by Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, on the state-of-play of the Commission's thinking on the Future of European Fisheries Policy, Berlin, Germany, 17 March.
  • International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, Berlin, Germany, 17-18 March – discussing the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future.
  • 8th Green Ship Technology Conference  and Exhibition, Oslo, Norway, 21-22 March – looking for potential partners for a green shipping initiative.
  • Ninth Meeting of Contracting Parties (COP9) to the Convention for Co-operation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region (Abidjan Convention), Accra, Ghana, 28 March – 1 April. 
  • Workshop: Exploring the Role of MPAs in Reconciling Fisheries Management with Conservation, Bergen, Norway, 29-31 March.

Upcoming events

5 April
Hisøy, Arendal, Norway: Inauguration of the new office building of the Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen Station.
For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen.

3. Other

Picture of the month:
Mr Wouter Rommens presenting GRID-Arendal's Sustainable Seas capacity development programme at the COP9 of the Abidjan Convention in Accra, Ghana.
Photo credit: Yannick Beaudoin.

Did you know that…
…Sea-ice algae – the important first rung of the food web each spring in places like the Arctic Ocean – can engineer ice to its advantage? The gel-like mucus secreted by sea-ice algae as a kind of antifreeze against temperatures well below minus 10 C is also allowing algae to sculpt microscopic channels and pores in ice that are hospitable to itself and other microorganisms.
Source: EurekAlert
…Trawling the sea floor for bottom-dwelling fish is making cod skinnier? Cod and other fish tend to be smaller in heavily trawled areas and in worse general health.
Source: EurekAlert

Our favorite website of the month

One Ocean

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

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

Thursday 31 Mar 2011