I have the pleasure to announce the 20th anniversary of GRID-Arendal. For the past 20 years our staff has been working in support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Today our centre is known worldwide for its expertise in our 3 priority focus areas:
- our engagement, knowledge and networking in the Polar and other ice & snow regions, with an increased focus on climate change;
- our assistance to developing countries on their marine environmental management in connection with defining their shelf boundaries;
- our key communications services in visualizing scientific data and environmental information, and capacity building for environmental assessments.
GRID-Arendal is recognized worldwide for its role in “bridging the gap” between science and policy. With our maps and graphics we make complex scientific issues understandable, so that political decisions could be easily taken.
When GRID-Arendal was established 1989 by the Norwegian Government as a new “Global Resource Information Database” centre in support of UNEP the world was at a turning point - from cold war to a new world order of dialogue and cooperation between nations. It was also the beginning of the technological revolution, the dawn of the Internet. We therefore started as a communication centre for UNEP and pioneered on new communication tools. We focused on the regions, where significant changes were taking place: the Arctic and Eastern Europe.
Later we became involved in another global change of the world’s map: assisting developing coastal and island States to extend their continental shelf territories, within the context of the UN Law of the Sea.
Today the world may be at another turning point. The economic crisis calls for a change. UNEP has provided its “Green Economy Initiative”. We at GRID-Arendal therefore want to use our anniversary event to focus on this very important initiative of UNEP from the perspectives of our areas of expertise: Polar, Marine and Communication. Think about how you can join us and UNEP in going for the Green New Deal.