Marine Newsletter #10 2012 – November

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

Featured Project

Sustainable Seas
In June 2012 GRID-Arendal, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention (West Africa Regional Sea), hosted an exploratory workshop dedicated to identifying capacity building needs and priorities for developing a full scale capacity building programme (Sustainable Seas). This programme will contribute to the development of relevant products and tools for Integrated Marine Management as well as the support of processes such as regional marine assessments, marine spatial planning and marine environmental indicator implementation.

The workshop was organised around four thematic areas:

  • The EbM (Ecosystem-based Management) Framework
  • Involvement of the offshore oil and gas sector in EbM
  • The role of marine data and information in EbM
  • Marine assessments and reporting

The identified needs were discussed in group and lead to identified common priorities. These will be used as input ('building blocks') for the development of a programme proposal with technical projects together with partner organisations.

For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen or Wouter Rommens.

Data and Products

Abidjan Convention Sustainable Seas pilot workshop report

The report from the workshop is now available here.

For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen or Wouter Rommens.

Map of the Month

Australia's network of Commonwealth marine reserves
Australia's marine area is larger than its landmass and extends from the tropical seas of the north to the sub-Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. In 1998, the Commonwealth and state and territory governments committed to the creation of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA) by 2012. The Australian Government has established 40 new Commonwealth marine reserves around Australia building on existing marine reserves that have been gradually established since the first Commonwealth marine reserve was declared in 1982. With the added areas, announced 16 November, Australia holds the world's biggest network of marine reserves.

A clickable map showing the areas under protection as well as a traditional downloadable map in PDF format are available from the website of Australia's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The new Commonwealth marine reserves will add more than 2.3 million square kilometres to Australia's marine reserve estate, resulting in a total area of 3.1 million square kilometres of ocean being managed primarily for biodiversity conservation, fulfilling the Australian Government's part in the creation of the national system.

Click on the image to view the full map.


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

  • 5th Meeting of the Liaison Committee established under the Agreement on Sub-Regional Cooperation between West African coastal States on the Establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, Praia, Cape Verde, 30 October-2 November – discussing the progress achieved and the plans for continued capacity building and drafting of the submissions.
  • Planning and initiation meeting for the Abu Dhabi blue carbon project, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 4-8 November
  • Official launch of the Abu Dhabi blue carbon project by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency's Secretary General H.E. Razan al Mubarak, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 6 November
  • Marine and coastal ecosystem valuation workshop hosted by Agence des aires marines protégées de la France (French Marine Protected Areas Agency), Brest, France, 6-8 November – including a consultation on the development of the TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study.
  • Arctic Oil and Gas Development – Challenges and Prospects, Haparanda, Sweden, 12-13 November – knowledge sharing and capacity building on a variety of topics related to oil and gas development.
  • 10th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern Africa Region (Abidjan Convention), Pointe Noire, Congo, 12-16 November.
  • 10th Advanced Level Training Workshop relating to Maritime Boundaries and the Extended Continental Shelf, Sydney, Australia, 19-30 November – focusing in particular on the 15 remaining unresolved shared boundaries in the region.
  • Brown Bag Discussion, United Nations Development Programme, New York, USA, 26 November – presenting GRID-Arendal's Marine Division.
  • Green Economy in a Blue World webinar: "Governing the Remote: Green Growth in Offshore Resources", Washington, D.C., USA, and online, 30 November – Session 3 in the webinar series organised by GRID-Arendal and the World Bank.

Ongoing and upcoming events

26 November - 7 December
Doha, Qatar: 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For more information, please contact John Crump or Tiina Kurvits.

10-12 December
Moscow, Russian Federation: 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea (Tehran Convention). GRID-Arendal will present the new Caspian Environmental Information Centre – a platform for information networking and collaboration between the Caspian littoral states, and also NGOs operating within the region.
For more information, please contact Valentin Yemelin.

10-14 December
Maputo, Mozambique: 7th Conference of Parties Meeting for the Nairobi Convention. This will include a discussion on how Sustainable Seas could be applied to the Nairobi convention.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.


GRID-Arendal contributes to newly released book: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean
The book is the outcome from a NATO Advanced Research Workshop at the University of Cambridge with Russian co-directorship, enabling the first formal dialogue between NATO and Russia about security issues in the Arctic Ocean. Involving interdisciplinary participation with experts from 17 nations, including all of the Arctic states, this workshop itself reflects progress in Arctic cooperation and collaboration.

Interests are now awakening globally to take advantage of extensive energy, shipping, fishing and tourism opportunities in the Arctic Ocean as it is being transformed from a permanent sea-ice cap to a seasonally ice-free sea. This introduces inherent risks of political, economic and cultural instabilities. In this book, diverse perspectives on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean are shared.

GRID-Arendal has provided the article: "The Arctic Ocean and UNCLOS article 76: Are there any commons?"

The book is available for purchase from Springer.

For more information, please contact Lars Kullerud.

Did you know that...

...a rare cold water coral reef has been discovered off the coast of Mauritania in Northern Africa? Cold water coral ecosystems are known to form much further north, around Scandinavia and in the Irish Sea, but this is the furthest south they have been found.
Source: Abidjan Convention Secretariat
...Mozambique has created Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve? The Primeiras and Segundas, an archipelago comprising ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, features abundant coral and marine turtle species.
Source: WWF

Picture of the monthThe African fur seal, or Brown fur seal is the largest of all fur seal species. It lives around the southern and southwestern coast of Africa from Cape Cross in Nambia and around the Cape of Good Hope to Black Rocks of Cape province.
Photo: Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal Photo Library

Our favorite website of the month

Open Channels

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 30 Nov 2012