Marine Newsletter #3 2014 – March

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for March 2014

Featured Project

Blue Forests Project
The full name of this project is "Standardized Methodologies for Carbon Accounting and Ecosystem Services Valuation of Blue Forests". It is a four-year international initiative, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project goal is to demonstrate how carbon sequestration and storage and the valuation of other coastal and marine ecosystem services can be used to improve coastal ecosystem management and ensure the long-term protection and sustainable use of blue forests ecosystems (e.g., mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and saltwater marshes).

The Blue Forests Project also aims to provide replicable experiences for greater GEF and international application. The project, which will be implemented by UNEP and executed by GRID-Arendal, includes 19 international partners and features small-scale interventions, or demonstrations, in Ecuador, Mozambique, Indonesia, Madagascar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE intervention is provided through 100% co-finance. Replication and up-scaling activities are also planned in Kenya and Central America.

For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.

Data and Products

Building Blue Carbon Projects - An Introductory Guide
This introductory guide, published by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and produced by GRID-Arendal, is a product of the Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project. The guide aims to stimulate discussion regarding projects that support the conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems based on a Blue Carbon approach. It serves as a snapshot of potential common Blue Carbon project elements based on existing projects and an introduction of key issues for consideration. The guide is intended to complement existing Blue Carbon materials and reports and potentially stimulate subsequent guides that will support Blue Carbon project development.

Many questions are raised when discussing potential Blue Carbon projects with national representatives and other interested parties. Dispersed throughout the guide are some responses to one of the most common questions, which, though simple, can be difficult to answer – why is Blue Carbon important?

The report is available here.

For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.

Map of the Month

Blue Carbon Projects Worldwide
The Blue Carbon world is rapidly growing. Over the past several years, a variety of efforts and initiatives, from feasibility assessments to full-scale demonstration projects, have taken shape, and continue to do so. The global map of Blue Carbon, shown below, provides an overview of these activities.

The map is based on information presented in the UNEP and GRID-Arendal managed Blue Carbon Portal, Bredbenner (2012), Albert et al. (2012), Laffoley (2013), and Ajonina et al. (in press). It is, however, a snapshot of information and not intended to be a comprehensive portrayal. The map is from the Building Blue Carbon Projects - An Introductory Guide report (AGEDI, 2014), published by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and produced by GRID-Arendal.

To view the full map, please see page 36 in Building Blue Carbon Projects - An Introductory Guide.

For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.


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

  • 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Abidjan Convention, Cape Town, South Africa, 17-21 March.
  • Meeting with the Norwegian Hydrographic Service, Stavanger, Norway, 27 March – discussing the EU EMODnet project.

Upcoming events

7-11 April
Sal, Cabo Verde: Technical work session under the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles. The main purpose of the work session is to revise in depth the newly prepared submission draft with the purpose of finalising all the different sections to a nearly final shape.
For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.

22-25 April
The Hague, the Netherlands: Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth.
For more information, please contact Peter Prokosch.

29 April-1 May
Phuket, Thailand: Coral Reef Resilience workshop. The intention of the workshop is to approach development of coral reef resilience indicators from the perspective of what is needed for or useful in planning and management, and then look at what may be scientifically robust and practical.
For more information, please contact Elaine Baker

Spotlight on Success

Achim Steiner highlights the importance of bringing the Green Economy to the Blue World
Achim Steiner is Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In a recent article in The Economist, he emphasised the benefits of oceans to society, and the need to include these benefits in economic planning. GRID-Arendal produced the report Green Economy in a Blue World in 2012.


Vacancy: Managing Director of GRID-Arendal
The Managing Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the centre and heads a dynamic organisation with a highly qualified professional and creative staff. We seek a practical, results-oriented, hands-on leader that can maintain a high and professional corporate profile for GRID-Arendal. The position is based in Arendal (Norway).

Read more about the position here.

Deadline for applications: 02 April, 2014

Did you know that... can now see what lies underwater in Sydney Harbour? The Catlin Seaview Survey have begun filming test footage from the bottom of the harbour and beyond for display on Google Maps.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
...the 3rd of March has been declared World Wildlife Day by the United Nations?
Source: UNEP

Our favorite website of the month

Island Conservation

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.

Picture of the Month

Seagrass habitat assessment and ground truthing off Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi.
AGEDI/Steve Crooks

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

Monday 31 Mar 2014