Marine Newsletter #23 – November 2011

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

Featured Project

UNEP Shelf Programme: Training and Capacity Building for West African Coastal States
A Framework Agreement on Sub-Regional Cooperation and an Agreement on Technical and Financial Cooperation between six West African Coastal States and the Kingdom of Norway was signed in New York on 21 September 2010. The agreements imply that Norway, through GRID-Arendal, will assist the six States; The Republic of Cape Verde, The Republic of the Gambia, The Republic of Guinea-Bissau, The Republic of Guinea, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and The Republic of Senegal; with the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

A training programme has been proposed, through which experts from the six States will receive training and capacity building. The programme is aimed at all members of the National Commissions responsible for the preparation and follow up of the technical information contained in the submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

The 1st Technical Training Workshop was held in Arendal 14-25 November 2011. Also included were visits to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in Stavanger and the Norwegian Mapping Authority in Hønefoss. In the workshop, the participants learned how to use the available data compiled through the West Africa regional desktop study (completed in 2010) to start building the submission project. This project will be further complemented with the additional geoscientific data that will be collected on the West African continental margin and available for analysis in the following two workshops, which are planned for mid- and end 2012. 

For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.

Data and Products

New polar basemap in GRID-Arendal's interactive mapping tool
A new Arctic basemap has been developed by GRID-Arendal and incorporated into the interactive mapping tool (GeoIQ), now allowing display of data in a polar projection.
For more information, please contact Jean-Nicolas Poussart.

WWF Arctic Interactive Map
Collaboration between GRID-Arendal and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Global Arctic Programme has led to the development of an interactive map of the Arctic, comprising layers on past, current and projected sea ice extent, shipping routes, industrial activities (oil and gas sector), communities, protected areas, distribution of Indigenous Peoples, and the locations and descriptions of WWF offices in the Arctic and projects coordinated by the WWF Global Arctic Programme.

For more information, and to view/access this interactive map, please contact the WWF Global Arctic Programme.


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

  • 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, the 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. See "Featured Project".
  • Fifteenth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada, 07-09 November.
  • Senior Arctic Officials Meeting, Luleå, Sweden, 08-09 November – discussing a new Arctic Change assessment report as well as a new Arctic resilience report.
  • Meetings with representatives from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Forest Trends, World Resources Institute, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Blue Climate Solutions, The Ocean Foundation, and other institutions, Washington DC, USA, 07-14 November – exploring partnerships regarding Regional Blue Carbon approach, Blue Carbon at the Eye on Earth Summit, and a potential proposal for a Blue Carbon initiative in the Arabian Peninsula. 
  • Visit to the offices of the International Ocenographic Data and Information Exchange and the European Science Foundation to discuss possible areas of collaboration, Ostend, Belgium, 10 November.
  • 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, Arendal, Norway, 14-25 November. See "Featured Project".
  • 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), Bergen, Norway, 20-22 November – presenting the findings of a UNEP report on migratory species that was prepared by GA in collaboration with the CMS Secretariat.
  • International Seabed Authority (ISA) deep sea mining workshop hosted by the government of Fiji, Nadi, Fiji, 26 November - 2 December – formulating preliminary recommendations for environmental impact assessments (EIA) of seabed mining both within and beyond national jurisdiction in the Pacific.
  • 7th Annual Arctic Oil and Gas Conference, Oslo, Norway, 29-30 November.

Upcoming events

28 November-09 December
For more information, please contact John Crump or Tiina Kurvits.

02 December
Brussels, Belgium: "Europe and the Global Blue Economy: Oceans, New Frontier, Sustainable Use". Hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee, and facilitated by the Resource Efficiency Alliance, this think tank meeting will address the following questions: Which role for Europeans in shaping the ‘Blue Economy’ of the XXIst Century? How to prepare for Rio + 20? and What steps after Rio + 20?
For more information, please contact Wouter Rommens.

03-04 December
Nadi, Fiji: 2nd Steering Committee meeting of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) - UNEP Pacific Marine Minerals and Deep Sea Mining Assessment.
For more information, please contact Elaine Baker or Yannick Beaudoin.

07-09 December
Bergen, Norway: CBD Joint Expert Meeting on addressing biodiversity concerns in sustainable fishery. Convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Ecosystem Management Fisheries Expert Group, this meeting will review the extent to which biodiversity concerns are addressed in existing assessments; review the impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity of pelagic fisheries of lower trophic levels; and propose options to address biodiversity concerns in sustainable fishery management and related assessments.
For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.


Did you know that…
…the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted on 10 December 1982 and entered into force on 16 November 1994? Article 76 of the Convention provides the legal definition of continental shelf and establishes the procedure for the delineation of its limits. 
…the continental shelf extends to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance? If a coastal State intends to establish its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (“extended continental shelf”), it needs to submit details of the limits to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) along with supporting scientific and technical data.
Source: Continental Shelf - The Last Maritime Zone (GRID-Arendal 2011)

Picture of the monthParticipants at the 1st Technical Training Workshop for experts from the six West African Coastal States. In the front: Ms Sónia Maria Silva Victoria from Cape Verde and Mr Alieu Jawo from the Gambia.
Photo: Rannveig Nilsen, GRID-Arendal.

Our favorite website of the month

Ocean Conservancy

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 02 Dec 2011