Marine Newsletter #22 – October 2011

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

Featured Project

Support to UNEP/MAP
GRID-Arendal and UNEP/MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan) will continue their cooperation by means of a new agreement for support to the UNEP/MAP Secretariat on the implementation of the ecosystem approach under the Barcelona Convention (the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean) and on the production of the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment Report 2011.

The support on the implementation of the ecosystem approach will consist in the development of a proposed methodology  and process for establishing targets leading to Good Environmental Status related to the Ecological Objectives agreed to by the Contracting Parties. This proposed methodology and process will be developed in conjunction with UNEP/MAP and its components and presented for discussion at an Ecosystem Approach expert meeting. The methodology and process proposed should ensure synergies between progress made in the policy and operational frameworks for the application of the ecosystems approach at global and EU levels, particularly in the context of the application of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The State of the Marine Environment Report 2011 will be produced in cooperation with UNEP/MAP and its components. The production will be based on the information compiled under the Initial Assessment for the Ecosystem Approach recently concluded. The objective of the report will be synthesizing the most advanced knowledge on major environmental issues for the further development of the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean. The State of the Marine Environment Report will be launched at the next Contracting Parties meeting in January 2012.

For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.


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

  • Meeting with Ambassador Hans Wilhelm Longva from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Harald Brekke from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Arendal, Norway, 3-4 October – discussing the next activities to be implemented by GRID-Arendal in relation with the agreement on Norwegian technical and financial support to the six West African coastal States for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles.
  • Course in Approaches to the Integrated Assessment of Status and Trends in Marine Ecosystems, Copenhagen, Denmark, 17-19 October.
  • First Division Meeting of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Nadi, Fiji, 16-22 October – reviewing the workplan of the Ocean and Islands Programme.
  • 2011 STAR Conference (Science, Technology and Resources Network of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)), Nadi, Fiji, 17-20 October – including a one-day joint STAR-Circum Pacific Council session on Seabed Minerals on Monday 17th. 
  • Meetings with various officials from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, Norway, 19 October – including discussions on UNEP Shelf Programme, support to the UN Regular Process and Blue Carbon.
  • Meeting with representative of the Geological Survey of Israel related to the EU EMODNET project (hydographic lot), Jerusalem, Israel, 20 October.
  • Various meetings in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 24 October - 04 November – continuing the exploration of Blue Carbon for the Arabian Peninsula in a more detailed local, national and regional context, including site visits and in-depth follow-up interviews.
  • Third meeting of the Liaison Committee of the six West African coastal States (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal), Praia, Cape Verde, 31 October - 02 November – discussing the progress and needed actions towards the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Sub-Regional Cooperation and the Agreement on Technical and Financial Cooperation between the six West African coastal States and Norway on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. 

Upcoming events

10 November
Ostend, Belgium: Visit to the offices of the International Ocenographic Data and Information Exchange and the European Science Foundation to discuss possible areas of collaboration.
For more information, please contact Wouter Rommens.

14-25 November
Arendal, Norway: Technical Training workshop on West African Continental Shelf Regional desktop study under the Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles. Delegates from Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia will participate in the training, which will also include a visit to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in Stavanger and the Norwegian Mapping Authority in Hønefoss.
For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.


Did you know that…
…more than 900 new alien species have been encountered in the coastal environments of the eastern Mediterranean Sea in recent decades, making the Mediterranean the world's most invaded sea? As a consequence, the whole food chain is changing, while there is a lack of knowledge on which to base relevant risk assessments.
Source: ScienceDaily
…Arcipelago Toscano National Park in Italy is the largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Europe? It safeguards 56,766 hectares of sea, including some extremely specialized animal and vegetal species which formed during periods of isolation.
Source: Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano

Picture of the monthThe city of Positano hugs the cliffs along Italy's Amalfi coast. The Amalfi coast, in Southern Italy, is known for its rugged coastline and idyllic towns clinging to steep hills above the Mediterranean.
Photo credit: Gerick Bergsma 2008/Marine Photobank.

Our favorite website of the month

The Ocean Project

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.


Friday 04 Nov 2011