Marine Newsletter #3 2013 – March

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

Featured Project

Bringing about change: Social innovation for a green economy
In a soon to be launched book, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaeufer define the emergence of a profound societal shift "from ego-system to eco-system economies". Enabling the conditions for desired change is at the forefront of change management and GRID-Arendal has been building up its experience and network to facilitate group processes that enhance the deeper exploration of challenges marked by a shift towards learning from a desired future.

Next month, GRID-Arendal will co-facilitate two upcoming workshops: Green Economy in a Blue World for the Caribbean (with the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNEP), and the World Bank's Third Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership Meeting (co-facilited by the Presencing Institute). These workshops are serving as a catalyst to re-think how we go about performing the art of group work. By transiting towards a more experience-driven and deeper learning format, workshop participants also become the workshop organisers, active designers and teachers.

Truly valuing nature is as much about changing a state of mind and being as it is about transforming an economic or physical system. In these and future workshops, we will further integrate the knowledge and experience of change in an effort to help collaborate into reality, the Future We Want. 

Stay tuned for more examples of how innovative social technologies are applied to challenges whose solutions depend on change coming from the future, not from the past.

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

Data and Products

Update: Methane Gas Hydrates website
GRID-Arendal is working together with UNEP on the project UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates. If you have not yet visited the website, we invite you to have a look. In the blog you can read about the recent breakthrough by a Japanese drilling vessel, which has for the first time successfully extracted methane hydrates from an undersea hydrate reservoir about 50 km off the coast of Japan's main island.
Please visit

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

Update: The Blue Carbon Blog
Have you visited the Blue Carbon Portal lately? We recommend the latest post in the Blue Carbon Blog: "Abu Dhabi’s Blue Carbon captures media attention".
Read the story here.

For more information, please contact Christian Neumann or Steven Lutz.

Map of the Month

Ocean Health Index
The Ocean Health Index evaluates the health of the oceans adjacent to 171 countries and territories. The standard reporting unit extends from a country’s shoreline to the edge of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles offshore), i.e. the area over which it has exclusive regulatory control over economic and resource management. A score was calculated for every coastal country according to the Index’s ten public goals for a healthy coupled human-ocean system; each country’s overall score is the average of its 10 goal scores.

When viewing the map, users can hover the mouse over a specific country's EEZ to see the scores for each of the ten goals.

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:

  • 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", Maldives, 2-9 March.
  • Meeting with the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, UK, 4 March – planning the agenda for a Caribbean Workshop on a Green Economy in a Blue World and strategising on broader Green Economy issues accross biomes and sectors.
  • Workshop process design session with the Presencing Institute, Ofxord, UK, 5 March – preparation of the upcoming Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership meeting.
  • Meeting with representatives of the International Sustainability Unit of the Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation, London, UK, 6 March – discussing collaboration in raising awareness of marine issues.

Upcoming events

8-11 April
Washington D.C., USA: Third Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership Meeting, co-facilited by the Presencing Institute.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

9-11 April
New York City, USA: Milstein Science Symposium: Understanding Ecological and Social Resilience in Island Systems: Informing Policy and Sharing Lessons for Management. The symposium is hosted by the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
For more information, please contact Tiina Kurvits.

15-17 April
Montego Bay, Jamaica: Caribbean SIDS Green Economy Workshop. This capacity building workshop is jointly organised with the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNEP.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

24-25 April
Arendal, Norway: Mini Symposium on sedimentary processes on the Northwest African Continental Margin, in support of the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles.
For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.


Job opportunity: Assistant Coordinator, Ecosystem Management
Our collaboration partner, the Abidjan Convention Secretariat, is in need of an Assistant Coordinator for Ecosystem Management. The Abidjan Convention, adopted in Abidjan in 1981, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for regional cooperation for the conservation and development of marine and coastal environment. The post is located in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. UNDP is organizing the recruitment process on behalf of UNEP.

For more info and application guidelines, see the full announcement. NB: Please disregard the deadline.

Did you know that...

...the ecological company Ecover has unveiled plans to launch an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic? 'Plantastic' is plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea by fishermen.
Source: Worldfishing
...ocean plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought? Global marine temperature fluctuations could mean that tiny Prochlorococcus and other microbes digest double the carbon previously calculated.
Source: Eurekalert

Picture of the Month
A seawall at La Digue island, Seychelles, serving as protection against erosion. The monsoons normally cause a cyclic building up and tearing down of the beaches in the islands. Now the monsoons are becoming unpredictable, and this seawall is being attacked and broken down by the waves.
Photo: Tiina Kurvits, GRID-Arendal

Our favorite website of the month

Presencing Institute

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.

NB: GRID-Arendal's offices are closed for Easter from Monday 25 March until Monday 1 April inclusive.


Tuesday 26 Mar 2013