Marine Newsletter #5 2013 – May

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

Featured Project

Marine and coastal biodiversity conservation and sustainable use has been identified as one of the priorities for action under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). While effective protection and restoration measures need to be implemented, the necessary steps towards reaching the Aichi Targets of the CBD Strategic Plan are hindered by insufficient management as well as transfer and advancement of knowledge.

BLUE SOLUTIONS aspires to generate public, private sector and political will to invest in processes to support and reach the marine and coastal Aichi Targets. It offers a global knowledge network and capacity development platform, working in close collaboration with national and regional marine and coastal biodiversity projects.

Until now, the following five closely inter-linked focal areas have been identified as crucial for BLUE SOLUTIONS: Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-based Management; Marine and Coastal Protected Area Management and Governance; Sustainable Financing; Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services Valuation and Integration into Development Planning: Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Mitigation.

The project is coordinated by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and implemented in direct partnership with the the Norwegian foundation and UNEP Collaborating Centre GRID-Arendal, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Marine Ecosystems Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

Data and Products

Status and Trends in Arctic Biodiversity
The documentary film "Status and Trends in Arctic Biodiversity" has won the 2013 documentary award of the annual Green Lens Environmental Film Festival. The film is a collaborative work of the Arctic Council Working Group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and GRID-Arendal. It addresses the current environmental situation in the Arctic, and ongoing pressures on its ecosystems. Particular emphasis is placed on the new set of challenges and stressors brought about by climate change and the increase of industrial activities in the region.

Watch the documentary here.

For more information, please contact Lawrence Hislop.

Map of the Month

ArkGIS: Nature and human activities in the Arctic
WWF has launched an interactive map of the Arctic region. The web-based map synthesises the latest Arctic research and helps answer questions such as where Arctic oil activity clashes with valuable biodiversity, and how the melting of the polar ice cap has influenced shipping routes. 

By releasing this new web tool mapping both nature and activities, WWF hopes to be able to make relevant information universally available – in a very visible manner. The ArkGIS is a web based mapping system, allowing anyone to produce their own maps showing natural resources and updated overviews of activities like shipping or oil drilling. It allows any user to download pre-made maps and videos, as well as developing customised maps on their own, using an interactive map service.

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


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

  • Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) workshop: Modelling an Inclusive Green Economy, Bergen, Norway, 7-8 May – moderating a session entitled "Country Experience with Modelling a Green Economy".
  • GEOHAB (Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping) annual forum, Rome, Italy, 6-10 May – presenting the global seafloor geomorphic features map and its applications for ocean conservation and management.
  • Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project stakeholder meeting, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 12-15 May.
  • Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, Kiruna, Sweden, 15 May.
  • Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA) Planning and Review workshop, Maputo, Mozambique, 27-30 May – presenting possible areas of collaboration as part of the Sustainable Seas programme.
  • 6th Liaison Committee Meeting for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in West Africa, Praia, Cape Verde, 29-31 May.

Upcoming events

8 June
Local and global: World Oceans Day.
For more information, please see

11-12 June
Arendal, Norway: Beach cleaning campaign with pupils from grades 8 and 9 from five local schools. After learning about marine debris and litter in the classroom, the pupils will go out to pick garbage at selected beaches, take photos and make works of art. The project is a cooperation between Arendal Municipality, the County Governor of Aust-Agder, the local waste management company Agder Renovasjon, 4H Aust-Agder, Flødevigen Research Station and GRID-Arendal, and funded by Aust-Agder County.
For more information, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.


Did you know that...

...about 90% of all known species live in the oceans and seas? Within this environment the seabed contains the highest biodiversity on the planet, with about 98% of all marine species.
Source: Deep Sea & Sub-Seafloor Frontier Coordination Action
...oyster shells are an antacid to the oceans? The decomposing shells, made of calcium carbonate, act like an antacid pill and help generate alkalinity in the increasingly acidic oceans.
Source: The New York Times

Picture of the Month
Delegates from Senegal at the 6th Liaison Committee Meeting for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in West Africa.Photo: Rannveig Nilsen, GRID-Arendal

Our favorite website of the month

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna

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.

Wednesday 05 Jun 2013