Marine Newsletter #4 2013 – April

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

Featured Project

Many Strong Voices – linking Small Island Developing States and the Arctic
Many Strong Voices (MSV) was launched in 2005 to confront the challenge of climate change in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Despite obvious geographical differences, Arctic and SIDS societies share characteristics of vulnerability and resilience, and both of their environments are sensitive to the impacts of climate change. Coastal communities in these regions are therefore coming together to take collaborative action on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the local, national and international level, and to share their stories and experiences with the world.

Along with its engagement at international negotiations and outreach activities such as the Portraits of Resilience photo project in high schools, MSV works directly with communities in the SIDS and Arctic to build local resilience.  Projects range from community-based relocation to sustainable energy to food security.

A priority area for 2103 is developing a project on ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to climate change. The aim of this project is to reduce vulnerability to climate change by supporting a methodology for EbA that integrates scientific and local/traditional knowledge. Case studies will be carried out in communities in Belize and Seychelles. Work carried out to date includes field visits in both countries to meet with potential partners and assess local conditions. As well, as part of the baseline work, a paper was published in the journal Sustainability, "Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Integrating Local and External Knowledge".

MSV is managed by GRID-Arendal and the Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo (CICERO). Partners include communities, organisations and governments in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, South Pacific and across the Arctic.

For more information, please contact Tiina Kurvits or John Crump.

Map of the Month

Coastal vulnerability and climate-related impacts
This map, made by Riccardo Pravettoni, was first published in Many Strong Voices - Turning Vulnerability into Strength. It shows how vulnerable different coastal countries are to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather events. SIDS are particularly vulnerable. Sea level rise is expected to exacerbate flooding, storm surges, erosion and other coastal hazards.

People on small islands have developed a wide range of adaptive strategies to cope with annual and seasonal climate variability, and such experience will prove invaluable in dealing with future climate change challenges. This knowledge is being lost at the same time as its value in developing adaptation strategies is increasingly recognised. Substantial investments and international financial assistance is needed to build adaptive capacity in these countries.

Click on the image to view or download the full map.

For more information, please contact Tiina Kurvits or John Crump.


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

  • Meeting with Google, San Fransisco, USA, 1 April – discussing technical issues and outreach related to the global geomorphic map project.
  • Annual Marine Conservation Planning Meeting of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2-4 April – presenting, discussing and fundraising for the TEEB for Oceans and Coasts study.
  • Third Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership Meeting, Washington D.C., USA, 8-11 April – co-facilited by the Presencing Institute.
  • Milstein Science Symposium: Understanding Ecological and Social Resilience in Island Systems: Informing Policy and Sharing Lessons for Management, New York City, USA, 9-11 April – hosted by the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
  • Workshop organised by the Kinship Conservation Fellows Watershed and Coastal Affinity Group, Eleuthera, Bahamas, 14-18 April – discussing sustainable coastal development options on Eleuthera.
  • Caribbean SIDS Green Economy Workshop, Montego Bay, Jamaica, 15-17 April – capacity building workshop jointly organised with the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNEP.
  • First meeting of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), Mexico City, Mexico, 15-18 April – forming a membership core for an interdisciplinary network for the protection of the deep ocean.
  • Mini Symposium on sedimentary processes on the Northwest African Continental Margin, Arendal, Norway, 24-25 April – 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.
  • Brown bag lunch: The new Global Seafloor Geomorphology Map and the management of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), Washington D.C., USA, 25 April – presenting the map and its application to management of areas within and beyond national jurisdiction, hosted by the Global Environment Facility.
  • Initial partners meeting of the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction GEF project, component on area-based management, Cambridge, UK, 25-26 April – this project will be implemented by FAO/UNEP and coordinated by UNEP-WCMC.

Upcoming events

7-8 May
Bergen, Norway: Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) workshop: Modelling an Inclusive Green Economy, co-hosted by UNEP, ILO, UNIDO and UNITAR. GRID-Arendal will moderate a session entitled "Country Experience with Modelling a Green Economy".
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

12-15 May
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project mid-term workshop.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

29-31 May
Praia, Cape Verde: 6th Liaison Committee Meeting 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.


Release of new UNEP Ocean Video
UNEP has just released its fourth video in its “Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey” Ocean Video series. It is titled “The True Value of Our Oceans”. The videos use animation and humour to explain in clear and simple language the role oceans play in our lives and our very survival.

Watch the videos here.

Did you know that...

...the five Arctic coastal countries are discussing how to regulate commercial fishing near the North Pole? The governments involved have concluded that enough of the polar ice cap now melts regularly in the summertime that an agreement on such regulation is needed.
Source: New York Times the Seychelles, the government and local communities are working together to reclaim land from the sea? The site on the island of Mahé was heavily affected by coastal erosion, but today, coastal protection measures have regained 15 to 20 meters of land.
Source: Many Strong Voices

Picture of the Month
Participants doing group work at the Caribbean SIDS Green Economy Workshop which took place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from 15 to 17 April.
Photo: Yannick Beaudoin, GRID-Arendal

Our favorite website of the month

The Island School

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.

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

Tuesday 30 Apr 2013