Marine Newsletter #8 2012 – September

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

Featured Project

World Ocean Assessment (Regular Process) – Regional Workshop
The World Ocean Assessment (WOA) is the new name of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-economic Aspects. The World Ocean Assessment has its home in the United Nation's Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. In support of the WOA, GRID-Arendal and its partners conducted a technical capacity building workshop in Bangkok on 17-19 September 2012. This workshop was focused on building capacity for an integrated assessment of the South China Sea region.

Scientific experts from eleven countries carried out a trial assessment on the South China Sea using an expert elicitation technique that is commonly used in business and economics, but is relatively new in environmental assessment. The exercise aimed to demonstrate how the methodology could be used to produce an assessment of the condition of biodiversity across a region as large and complex as the South China Sea and to encourage review, questioning and real-time revision of the assessment process. Participants were guided to provide their expert judgement on indicators of condition and trends in biodiversity and ecosystem health and to identify the main threats and pressures affecting the marine ecosystems. GRID-Arendal and partners hope to work with interested states to develop the methodology to carry out assessments at a national level. 

The workshop was conducted in close cooperation with members of the Global Group of Experts of the WOA, and organized with the cooperation and support of UNEP through the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) and the NorthWest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO/IOC), and with funding support from the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN).

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

Data and Products

Blue Carbon Portal
GRID-Arendal and Blue Climate Solutions has unveiled the redesigned Blue Carbon Portal, the world’s premier comprehensive community-based website for all matters related to blue carbon, a concept that advances the sustainable management of coastal marine ecosystems that store and sequester atmospheric carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.

The Blue Carbon Portal aims to support the rapidly growing blue carbon community. It provides a virtual space to connect, share ideas and resources, and discuss issues. We encourage everyone engaged or interested in Blue Carbon to participate in the development of the portal. You are most welcome to register and populate the page with your own Blue Carbon stories and activities.

Check it out:

For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.

Map of the Month

The Blue Carbon World Map
This interactive map, which is part of the redesigned Blue Carbon Portal, contains a geographic overview about global Blue Carbon activities, such as feasibility assessments, mangrove projects and seagrass projects. 

When viewing the map, users can click on an icon to get more information about the project they are interested in.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.


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

  • 2nd Technical Training Workshop under the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles, Arendal, Norway, 27 August-7 September – technical work to analyse the base of slope and select foot of slope points along the West African margin.
  • Meeting with representatives from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Belmopan, Belize, 3-7 September – discussing the development of a full proposal on ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in the Caribbean, as part of the Many Strong Voices programme.
  • 15th BIOECON Conference, Cambridge, UK, 19-20 September – presenting the findings of the recently released GA report, Vital Graphics on Payment for Ecosystem Services - Realising Nature’s Value.
  • Regional Scientific and Technical Capacity Building Workshop on the World Ocean Assessment (Regular Process), Bangkok, Thailand, 17-19 September – consulting experts about the condition of the marine ecosystems in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand.

Upcoming events

1-3 October
Nairobi, Kenya: 14th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans. GRID-Arendal will present The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Oceans and Coasts concept. Other issues to be discussed include the Regular Process, Blue Carbon, Green Economy in a Blue World, State of the Marine Environment efforts and Convention-based support.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.


Vacancy at GRID-Arendal: Marine Expert (Social Scientist)
GRID-Arendal is seeking a Marine Expert to participate in the planning, development and implementation of various relevant activities within its Marine Division, related primarily to ecosystems, their services and the links to human and natural well-being. Competencies of particular interest are:

  • Experience with producing and communicating valuation of marine ecosystem services - biophysical and socio-ecological economic frameworks
  • Expert knowledge in coastal ecosystem services (Blue Carbon habitats in particular) linked to sustainable livelihoods and human well-being
  • Familiarity with valuation efforts (e.g. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity)

Read more here.
Deadline for applications: 19 October, 2012.

Did you know that...

...nature lovers can now explore six of the world's most stunning marine landscapes from the comfort of their own home? Google Maps have launched their first underwater panoramic images, giving users a glimpse of six Pacific coral reefs.
Source: The New Zealand Herald
...there are currently more than 30 Blue Carbon activities located all over the globe listed on the Directory page of the Blue Carbon Portal? Users are invited to submit information about other activities, projects or initiatives that have not been listed yet.
Source: The Blue Carbon Portal

Picture of the monthSea grass meadows can store carbon and thereby help mitigate climate change, while serving as important habitat for many marine species such as this endangered sea turtle.Photo: Steven Lutz, GRID-Arendal

Our favorite website of the month

Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands

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.

Friday 28 Sep 2012