Marine Newsletter #9 2013 – October

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

Featured Project

World Ocean Assessment
The World Ocean Assessment (previously known as the the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-economic Aspects) is a United Nations programme that will carry out a global review of marine assessments and report to the General Assembly by the end of 2014. As part of this process, regional workshops are being held around the world, and GRID-Arendal has been involved in several of these. 

A workshop for the South Atlantic Ocean Region was held in Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, from 28 to 30 October. This workshop identified regional experts who might participate in the production of the first global ocean assessment while simultaneously making an inventory of existing assessments and useful data sets. Regional experts worked in break-out groups to consider topics in line with the four major sections of the world ocean assessment: biophysical; food security and food safety; socioeconomics; and marine biological diversity. The breakout groups presented the highlights of their discussions and the topics of knowledge and capacity-building gaps were discussed by all delegates. 

It is hoped that the workshops will raise awareness of the need for all countries to conduct state of marine environment assessments in their marine zones in order to inform decision-makers at the national and regional levels, but also to contribute to future repetitions of the World Ocean Assessment.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

Map of the Month

Sources of Marine Litter
This map displays different sources of marine litter, using data obtained by The Ocean Conservancy during the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup.

The different layers show the amount of marine litter, according to its source, ranging from waste from the shore or in the waterways, to refuse that is dumped into coastal areas. Marine litter from smoking activities, such as cigarette stubs, and medical waste, including personal hygiene waste, are also included in the map.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Allison Bredbenner.


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

  • 15th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, Montego Bay, Jamaica, 30 September-1 October.
  • Second Global Conference on Land - Ocean Connections (GLOC-2), Montego Bay, Jamaica, 2-4 October.
  • Marine Affairs & Policy Seminar: 'Building Blue Carbon Projects - An Introduction', hosted by University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), Miami, Florida, USA, 4 October – sharing experiences of the Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project and the planning of the Global Environment Facility's Blue Forests Project.
  • Arctic Circle Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 12-14 October – screening the film "Status and Trends of Arctic Biodiversity".
  • Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC-3), Marseille/Corsica, France, 21-27 October – presenting the Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon project, TEEB for Oceans and Coasts and Seafloor Geomorphology mapping.
  • Webinar on a New Global Seafloor Geomorphology Map and the Management of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, online, 23 October – presenting the new global map of seafloor geomorphology, created by a partnership effort between Geoscience Australia, GRID-Arendal and Conservation International.
  • Seminar: The State and Condition of the Oceans, Bergen, Norway, 24 October – film screening and debate in connection with Bergen International Film Festival.
  • 7th GEF Biennial Intenational Waters Conference, Bridgetown, Barbados, 26-31 October – facilitating a workshop on Economic Valuation, giving a presentation on "Blue Carbon+: Efforts to harness coastal and marine ecosystem values for improved ecosystem management". 
  • Regional (South Atlantic Ocean) Workshop in support of the World Ocean Assessment, Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, 28-30 October.
  • Abidjan Convention State of the Marine Environment capacity building workshop, Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire, 31 October-3 November.

Upcoming events

7-8 November
Stockholm, Sweden: Regional workshop: The valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea. GRID-Arendal will present on the TEEB for Oceans and Coasts initiative.
For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

15 November
Arendal, Norway: Marine Symposium with guests from Flødevigen Research Station, Institute of Marine Research. The purpose of the symposium is to exchange information about ongoing projects and activities.
For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

Spotlight on Success

Global Seafloor Geomorphology Map – webinar
A partnership effort between Geoscience Australia, GRID- Arendal, and Conservation International has created a new global map of seafloor geomorphology. Seafloor geomorphology is useful for ocean management because different geomorphic features (e.g. submarine canyons, seamounts, spreading ridges, escarpments, plateaus, trenches etc.) are commonly associated with particular suites of habitats and biological communities.

The map, which is yet to be published, can be viewed here. It was presented at a webinar on 23 October, and the recording of the webinar can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris.


A tribute to Ambassador Hans Wilhelm Longva
Norwegian jurist and top diplomat Hans Wilhelm Longva was especially known during an extensive and impressive career, for his diplomatic role in the Middle East. The UNEP Shelf Programme also benefited from his wisdom and statesmanship. GRID-Arendal shares a great sense of loss on the occasion of the passing of a great Norwegian Statesman. Yet we also feel particularly privileged to have had the opportunity to learn and be mentored by Ambassador Longva.

Read our tribute to Ambassador Longva here

See also an interview conducted with Ambassador Longva in 2012.

Did you know that...

...there's an app for seahorse conservation? Marine conservationists from the University of British Columbia, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, have launched a smartphone app that could lead to new discoveries about these mysterious and threatened animals.
Source: EurekAlert
...there's also an app for marine World Heritage sites? The app aims to increase visibility of these exceptional places and facilitate access to information about their outstanding value.
Source: UNESCO

Our favorite website of the month

International Programme on the State of the Ocean

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.

Picture of the Month

Red Knots (Calidris canutus islandica) in Porsanger, Norway. The Red Knot is a migratory shorebird that travels up to 20,000 km twice a year from its breeding grounds on the high Arctic tundra to its southern non-breeding sites. Some populations fly as much as 8–9,000 km between stopover sites in a single flight. The Porsanger fjord in Northern Norway is beside Iceland the most important spring staging area (refueling site) for Calidris canutus islandica on their way from the European Wadden Sea to Northern Greenland and North-East Canada.
Photo: Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal

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

Friday 01 Nov 2013