Marine Newsletter #1 2012 – January

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for January 2012

Featured project

Green Economy in a Blue World
The synthesis report Green Economy in a Blue World was launched 25 January at the 3rd Intergovernmental Review Meeting (IGR-3) on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, which was held in Manila. The report argues that the ecological health and economic productivity of marine and coastal ecosystems, which are currently in decline around the globe, can be boosted by shifting to a more sustainable economic paradigm that taps their natural potential – from generating renewable energy and promoting eco-tourism, to sustainable fisheries and transport.

A PDF version of the synthesis report can be downloaded here.
For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

Data and Products

OCEANIDS – 6 clicks away from an interactive shareable map
GRID-Arendal is proud to launch OCEANIDS, a new tool to find and examine public marine-related scientific datasets. A main aim in the development of OCEANIDS is to provide end users with an interdisciplinary and multi-thematic geospatial and metadata portal of public data and information – but with the non-GIS expert end user in mind. This is accomplished by using technology developed by GeoIQ and demonstrated using an Enterprise solution of the GeoCommons instance.

The GeoIQ technology behind OCEANIDS provides easy workflows and tools for users to not only search for and use the spatial data already in the system, but also upload their own data. This allows users to visualise, combine datasets, make their own maps, and even perform basic comparative analyses as they wish. The resulting interactive maps can be saved and easily shared or embedded on other websites or online services.

Request for testing/call for maps
We are now announcing a call for maps! Test our OCEANIDS platform and make a map that highlights an important issue related to the marine environment, then send us the link with a few lines describing the map. The best stories/maps will be featured on our website – therefore an opportunity to gain exposure for an issue important to you, or in your part of the world!

Click here to get started. The first deadline for submission of maps/stories is the 5 March 2012.

Submissions, all other feedback and questions should be sent to Christian Neumann.

Map of the Month

New One Stop Data Shop Inventory Map
The ArcIMS based Data Inventory Map in our One Stop Data Shop (OSDS) has recently been replaced by a similar ArcGIS Map Server application. Most of the functionalities have been retained, and some new ones introduced, like the Arctic projection, but the overall look is more delicate, and the users will hopefully meet a more intuitive interface. The transition from ArcIMS to ArcGIS was not a straightforward one, as it had to be developed as an entirely new application. The development was carried out by consultant Hugo Ahlenius at Nordpil.

The OSDS Data Inventory Map shows all the cruise track lines and point databases that have been collected during the lifespan of the Continental Shelf Programme, and constitutes the world’s largest collection of geophysical metadata relevant for working on delineation of extended continental shelves (ECS) beyond 200 nautical miles. By clicking on an object on the map the most important information is shown in a bubble, including URLs leading to the actual data holder's web pages for that object. Furthermore, the map shows the status of all ECS Submissions received by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The inventory map is also available for Google Earth as separate layers.
For more information, please contact Øystein Halvorsen.


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

  • Visit to GRID-Arendal by documentary film producers Luc Riolon and Rachel Seddoh, Arendal, Norway, 16 January – collecting footage for a documentary on methane hydrates that will be released on ARTE TV in Europe, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Canada and in the US.
  • Meetings with colleagues at UNEP's Regional Office for North America and other institutions, Washington DC, USA, 16-17 January – discussing issues related to Blue Carbon.
  • World Bank Webinar: "Green Economy in a Blue World", 18 January – part of a knowledge series, "Emerging Global Issues – Climate Change and Green Growth", the session was hosted by GRID-Arendal.
  • Meeting with representatives from the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO), Arendal, Norway, 21-22 January – discussing current and future activities of the Many Strong Voices Programme.
  • Third Intergovernmental Review Meeting (IGR-3) on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, Manila, Philippines, 25-27 January – launching the Green Economy in a Blue World publication.
  • Meeting with a representative from the British Council, Berlin, Germany, 27 January – discussing and planning the Wadden Sea Youth Climate Training Programme. This training will be a follow-up to last year's Svalbard training.
  • Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST) meeting, Washington DC, USA, 27 January – finalising the project sustainability screening and evaluation process.

Upcoming events

8-10 February
Paris, France: 17th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols. A summary of the findings of a recent assessment on the state of the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean region, prepared by GRID-Arendal for UNEP, will be presented.
For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.

20 February - 2 March
Sydney, Australia: The UNEP Shelf Programme and partners (SOPAC/SPC, Geoscience Australia, and the Commonwealth Secretariat) will be holding a Pacific Island Maritime Boundaries workshop. This is the second workshop in which the 14 attending states will address the issues surrounding the 22 unresolved maritime boundaries in the region. In addition, states with potential for extended continental shelf will work to finalise their submissions, including the analysis of recently collected multibeam data.
For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

21-23 February
Sanya, China: Workshop, under the auspices of the United Nations, in support of the Regular Process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects. GRID-Arendal will present technical capacity building for marine assessments.
For more information, please contact Wouter Rommens.

22-24 February
Singapore: World Oceans Summit. Organised by The Economist, the Summit will examine how the increasing activity in and around the oceans can be managed sustainably and what this means for business and other key stakeholders.
For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.


Picture of the monthLocal people's fishing boat, Anakao, South-West Madagascar. The waters around Madagascar serve as a rich fishery and are an important source of income for villagers. Unfortunately fishing is poorly regulated. Foreign fishing boats encroach artisanal fishing areas to the detriment of locals and the marine fauna.
Photo: Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal Photo Library.

Did you know that... much as 40 per cent of the world’s population now lives within 100 km of the shore line?
...tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange for more than half of all Small Island Developing States (SIDS)?
Source: Green Economy in a Blue World

Our favorite website of the month

Waste Free Oceans

Disclaimer: GRID-Arendal does not necessarily endorse the content of external websites, and provides them for information purposes only. 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 Division website.

Thursday 09 Feb 2012