Marine Newsletter #2 2013 – February

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for February 2013

Featured Project

Pacific Marine Planning Decision Support Tool
This planning tool will bring together, under a consolidated standard based framework, information necessary for undertaking comprehensive marine planning in the Pacific region.

Current and accurate information about the limits of maritime jurisdictions, living and non-living marine resources and the environment, underpins the sustainable management of the marine space of Pacific Island Nations. Historically this information has been managed on a sectoral basis. Policy makers have been forced to seek information from a multitude of sources and this information has often been of variable quality.

The Pacific Marine Planning Decision Support Tool will build upon the extensive marine data holdings and regional engagement provided by the Applied GeoScience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).  Fundamental to the delivery of this activity will be the inclusion of the best elements of established frameworks in Australian, US and European counterpart systems. The development and implementation of the planning tool is being undertaken by the Pacific Maritime Boundaries team – GRID Arendal, SOPAC/SPC, Geoscience Australia and the University of Sydney and builds on the boundary delimitation work of the last 5 years. The project is funded by AUSAID and will be completed by June 2014.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

Data and Products

TEEB for Oceans and Coasts: Knowledge Portal
GRID-Arendal proudly presents the new Knowledge Portal for the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Oceans and Coasts.

Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet, yet we are just beginning to discover the extent of the resources, both biotic and abiotic, that lie beneath their surfaces. We are also just beginning to understand the complexity of the interactions that tie oceans to the rest of Earth’s systems including the coastal biome, where vital ecosystem services are most vulnerable.

Although there is an understanding and general acknowledgement of the value of marine ecosystem services, and a willingness to take action, there remains a lack of tools, processes and information to enable the needed action. The TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study seeks to identify and fill key knowledge gaps and facilitate the enabling conditions to enhance sound decision making at all levels of society.

Visit TEEB for Oceans and Coasts here.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

The View from the Top: Searching for responses to a rapidly changing Arctic
GRID-Arendal contributed to this article, which is part of UNEP Year Book 2013: Emerging issues in our global environment. Over the past five years, Arctic sea ice has melted more rapidly than had been projected by models and, at one point in 2012, 97 per cent of the Greenland ice sheet surface was melting. Rapid environmental change in the Arctic, as a result of climate change, is providing new development opportunities including easier access to oil and gas, minerals and fisheries. The Yearbook calls for caution and effective governance to avoid damage to the fragile Arctic environment.

For more information, please contact Lars Kullerud.

Map of the Month

Local Ecosystem Services Valuation
The Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP), a virtual center for information and communication on the human uses of marine ecosystem services around the world, has developed an interactive map which displays ecosystem services valuation studies. 

Clicking on the coastal zones in the map will select that country, and show ecosystem service studies in the grid below the map. Users can also click and select items from the list below the map, which will make that item show up on the map with more details, and a "more" link to see the complete record. 

Click on the image to view the full map and start exploring.


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

  • Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Capacity-Building Workshop for West Africa, organised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Dakar, Senegal, 4-8 February – presenting GRID-Arendal's Sustainable Seas Programme.
  • Project inception meeting for the Pacific Marine Planning Decision Support Tool hosted by SOPAC/SPC, Suva, Fiji, 11-13 February – preparing project scope, design and work plan.
  • Blue Solutions Kick-off Workshop, organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Oberursel, Germany, 12-13 February.
  • Meeting with Ambassador Hans Wilhelm Longva from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from Norad and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Arendal, Norway, 14 February – discussing the progress of the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles.
  • First Universal Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 18-22 February – among others: discussing the TEEB for Oceans and Coasts at the TEEB Advisory Board meeting.
  • Meetings relating to development of a number of Many Strong Voices (MSV) initiatives, Seychelles, 25 February - 1 March – including ecosystem-based adaptation, forced relocation, and food security.
  • Visit to GRID-Arendal by a representative from the Republic of Guinea, Arendal, Norway, 28 February-1 March – discussing and proceeding with the work on the country's submission for an extended continental shelf.

Upcoming events

2-9 March
Maldives: Meetings and initial field visits for the new Many Strong Voices (MSV) project "Perceptions and understanding of climate change and migration: Conceptualising and contextualizing for Lakshadweep and the Maldives".  Project partners include CICERO, The Energy and Resources Institute, the Ministry of Housing and Environment in the Maldives, the Centre for Earth Research and Environment Management, the University of Manchester, and the University of Reading.
For more information, please contact Tiina Kurvits or John Crump.

4 March
London, UK: Meeting with the Commonwealth Secretariat to plan the agenda for a Caribbean Workshop on a Green Economy in a Blue World and to strategise on broader Green Economy issues accross biomes and sectors.

5 March
Ofxord, UK: Workshop process design session with the Presencing Institute in preparation of faciliation role for the upcoming Wealth Accounting and Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership Meeting (World Bank, 9-11 April 2013).

6 March
London, UK: Meeting with representatives of the International Sustainability Unit of the Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation to discuss collaboration in raising awareness of marine issues.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.


Special feature: Ban Ki-moon on the World Ocean Assessment
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, endorses the World Ocean Assessment (WOA) in a video on the WOA website. This website was produced by GRID-Arendal with financial and in-kind support provided by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the Australian Government and UNEP.

Watch the Secretary General's message here.

Did you know that... 2010 Norway and Russia ended 42 years of negotiations on their disputed Arctic border in the Barents Sea? This is the first of a series of Arctic geopolitical issues being resolved – some of them in areas expected to be rich in petroleum resources. 
Source: The View from the Top: Searching for responses to a rapidly changing Arctic
...a seabird that was believed to be extinct for over 150 years, has been found breeding in New Zealand? The sparrow-sized New Zealand storm petrel is critically endangered and was thought extinct until a sighting in 2003.
Source: New Zealand Herald

Picture of the Month
Scientists working with the Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project taking core samples to measure the amount of carbon sequestrated by mangroves.
Photo: Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-Arendal. Copyright: AGEDI/GRID-Arendal

Our favorite website of the month

Plan Bothnia

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 01 Mar 2013