Marine Newsletter #4 2014 – April

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

Featured Project

Sustainable Seas
GRID-Arendal, UNEP and the Abidjan Convention organised a regional capacity building workshop on State of the Marine Environment (SOME) reporting in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, from 31 October to 3 November 2013. The workshop was based on a methodology for rapid ocean assessment. It will produce a regional assessment of the status of the marine environment for the region of the Guinea Current with participation of experts from five states - the Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A national workshop for production of the National State of the Marine Environment Report was organised in Freetown, Sierra Leone from 4-7 February with participation of 50 marine scientists and experts from Sierra Leone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Sierra Leone organised the workshop with support from the Abidjan Convention Secretariat and GRID-Arendal.

GRID-Arendal participated in the 11th conference of the parties to the Convention for the Cooperation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central Africa Region (Abidjan Convention) in Cape Town, South Africa from 17-21 March. There we presented a common SOME reporting template and a system for national reporting on measures taken to implement decisions of the Abidjan convention to the 22 member countries.

State of the Marine Environment reporting is one of the focus areas of GRID-Arendal's Sustainable Seas capacity development programme.

For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen, Peter Harris or Wouter Rommens.

Data and Products

GRID-Arendal cartoon
In cooperation with simpleshow, GRID-Arendal has developed a short cartoon that explains who we are and what we do. Watch the cartoon here!

Map of the Month

Marine Minerals in the Red Sea
The Atlantis II Deep in the central Red Sea has the biggest known metal-rich sea-floor deposit discovered to date, and is by far the only example of a large-scale metalliferous-sediment type deposit. The deep attains a depth of over 2100 meters and is situated in the Red Sea rift, where the Arabian Peninsula and Africa are being split apart.

Surveys in the 1960s confirmed the presence of hot, 60°C, saline brines and associated metalliferous muds. In the 1970s, a pre-pilot test mining study was conducted by a Saudi Arabian company (Preussag A. G.). Using what was described as “conventional floatation” means, they recovered 15,000 m3 of sea floor sediments and brines from four test sites in the Atlantis II basin. They also proceeded to concentrate the recovered material at sea. GRID-Arendal has been working on an environmental analysis of marine mineral deposits such as this as part of an assessment of Marine Minerals for the European Union.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Miles Macmillan-Lawler.


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

  • 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, Sal, Cabo Verde, 7-11 April – revising in depth the newly prepared submission draft.
  • Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), Helsinki, Finland, 7-12 April.
  • Training of trainers for integrating marine ecosystem services into development planning, Frankfurt, 8-11 April – part of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) ValuES project.
  • Meeting with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and UNEP representatives, Paris, France, 14-15 April – discussing a software developed by GRID-Arendal for capacity-building on State of Marine Environment (SoME) assessments in developing countries to enable them to participate in the UN World Ocean Assessment.
  • Meeting on ecosystem services at at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, Maryland, 21-24 April – developing 'best practices' guidelines for incorporating social values into management and policy decisions, and for evaluating ecological versus social trade‐offs of these decisions.
  • Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth, The Hague, the Netherlands, 22-25 April.
  • Workshop on the Environmental Impacts of Deep Sea Mining, Brussels, Belgium, 30 April – discussing the findings of an on-going study by Ecorys and GRID Arendal, commissioned by the European Commission.

Upcoming events

6-8 May
Cambridge, UK: Marine Spatial Planning in Practice Workshop. This is an initiative to strengthen the practical use of Marine Spatial Planning for local, national and regional marine and coastal management and policy implementation, and is coordinated by UNEP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
For more information, please contact Miles Macmillan-Lawler.

6-9 May
New York, USA: Meeting of the Group of Experts of the World Oceans Assessment (WOA) to progress drafting of the first report to be delivered by the end of 2014.
For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

21-23 May
Cebu, Philippines: Training on Integrating marine Ecosystem Services into Development Planning, offered through the Blue Solutions Initiative. The training provides an introduction to coastal and marine ecosystem services, the linkages to sustainable development, and the role of the assessment and valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

27-30 May
Cebu, Philippines: Regional Forum on Solutions for Oceans, Coasts and Human Well-Being in Asia and the Pacific, hosted by the Blue Solutions InitiativeThe four-day Regional Forum provides a platform for practitioners and decision makers from Asia and the Pacific to exchange experiences and ‘solutions’ in marine and coastal management and governance.

For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

Spotlight on Success

"Geomorphology of the oceans" in Marine Geology
Our scientific paper on the global seafloor geomorphic features map was published in the journal Marine Geology in February. It is now the most downloaded paper over the last 90 days. Read the article here.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris.


Did you know that...

...Canada's first land raised Atlantic salmon has entered the retail market? The farming company, KUTERRA LP, is owned by the 'Namgis First Nation, and was founded to offer a sustainable alternative to conventionally farmed salmon.
Source: Canada NewsWire (CNW)
...researchers have shown that some corals can – on the fly – adjust their internal functions to tolerate hot water 50 times faster than they would adapt through evolutionary change alone?
Source: ScienceNewsline

Our favorite website of the month

Surfrider Foundation

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

Wildlife in planned Raet National Park, Southern Norway: Silver-necked Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo)The Ministry of Climate and Environment has given the Governor (Fylkesmannen) of Aust-Agder the mandate to establish the marine park at the coast of the municipalities Arendal, Tvedestrand and Grimstad by 2016.
Photo: Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal

For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter or to sign up to the mailing list, please visit our Marine Division website.

Friday 02 May 2014