Marine Newsletter #5 2012 – May

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

Featured Project

UNEP Shelf Programme: Training and Capacity Building for West African Coastal States
The Kingdom of Norway is assisting the six West African Coastal 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.

The training and capacity building, done by GRID-Arendal, is complemented with geoscientific data which is being collected on the West African Continental margin. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has contracted the survey on behalf of the Foreign Ministry. Since the onset of the acquisition programme in December 2011, Gardline’s MV Sea Surveyor has successfully acquired data offshore all the six Coastal States. The distance covered by the ship so far totals more than 34,500 kilometres, and another 5,000 kilometres remains to be surveyed. This means that by the end of the programme, a distance almost equivalent to circumventing the earth will have been covered.

Technical experts from each of the West African States will convene in Arendal in the end of August to take part in the second technical training workshop, when the data from the acquisition programme will be available for analysis.

For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.

Map of the Month

Green Economy in a Blue World – World Marine Fishery and Nutrition
The fisheries sector – in particular small-scale fisheries and aquaculture – is important in the transition towards a green economy due to its interconnectivity with and reliance on aquatic ecosystems, and the potential for people employed in it to act as stewards of the wider marine environment to a larger extent than they already do. As well as being a rich source of protein, many fish provide vital nutrition and health benefits through provision of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids.

This map shows the relations between nutrition in the form of fish protein, aquaculture and marine fishery production. Combining these sectors in a sustainable way could lead to a more healthy habitat for fish species and a better supply of nutrition for everybody.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Jonas Bartholomay.


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

  • GeoHab 2012 – Eleventh International Symposium, Orcas Island, USA, 1-4 May – hosting a special evening session to discuss the project Rocky Bottom, a policy focused look at global benthic habitats.
  • 4th Liaison Committee Meeting under the Agreement on Technical and Financial Cooperation between the six West African coastal States and the Government of Norway on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, Praia, Cape Verde, 8-10 May – discussing the data acquisition programme, determination of baselines, and plans for the next training and capacity building workshop that will be held in Arendal in the fall.
  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Policy Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden, 14-15 May – the first step in a process to develop policy recommendations that arise from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, an Arctic Council-endorsed report that will be completed in 2013.
  • Inter-regional Workshop on Broad-scale Marine Spatial Planning and Transboundary Marine Mammal Management, Panama City, Panama, 21-24 May – reviewing the data and current outputs developed within the project, as well as actual training/capacity building in marine spatial planning.
  • Workshop on the Application of the Ecosystem Approach, organised by Mediterranean Action Plan, Athens, Greece, 29-30 May – discussing methodologies for setting targets related to the agreed Ecological and Operational Objectives.

Upcoming events

3-7 June
Venice, Italy: 50th Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) Conference: Today's science for tomorrow's management. The paper: "GeoHab Atlas of seafloor geomorphic features and benthic habitats – synthesis and lessons learned" will be presented.
For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

18-21 June
Grand-Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire: Abidjan Convention Sustainable Seas Workshop. The aim of the workshop is to initiate a capacity development process in support of ecosystem-based management of the marine environment for governments in the region of the Abidjan Convention. 
For more information, please contact Wouter Rommens or Morten Sørensen.

19 June
Washington, D.C., USA: Green Economy in a Blue World webinar: Greening Growth in Coastal Cities. Session 2 in the webinar series organised by GRID-Arendal and the World Bank.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

24-26 June 
Guayaquil, Ecuador: Capturing Knowledge and Experience for a TEEB for Oceans. Project end workshop organized by Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur (CPPS) – the Regional Seas body for the South East Pacific Region – for reporting and sharing the results of a coastal ecosystems valuation assessment in Peru, Chile and Ecuador. One day will be devoted to capturing experiences, practices and challenges in the lead up of the implementation of a TEEB for Oceans Study.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.


Did you know that...

Picture of the month
The image shows the tracklines of the data acquisition programme that has been undertaken off the coast of West Africa (see Featured Project).
(Screenshot from Google Earth)

...this year, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea?
Source: United Nations
...Kenya is on the brink of building Africa's first underwater museum, which will be dedicated to studying marine life and shipwrecks? The museum will open in 2014.
Source: The Guardian

Our favorite website of the month

United Nations Atlas of the 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

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

Monday 04 Jun 2012