Happy in the Mangroves

Following the Internet phenomenon of the “Be Happy” Videos, it was decided at the inception workshop for the GEF Blue Forest project, hosted in Abu Dhabi in partnership with AGEDI, that all the Blue Carbon projects within  the programme would create their own “Be Happy” Videos.

Filmed during the National Blue Carbon Project Field Work, the video was launched at the Eye on Earth Summit 2015, creating an exciting buzz around alternative outreach methods inspiring all to create their own “Be Happy” videos.

Thanks to all the fieldwork volunteers who appear in the video and the scientists who took time out from their data collection to dance and Be Happy…

Launch of the National Blue Carbon Project Report

The Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) today launched the National Blue Carbon Project report, marking the first national quantification of the UAE’s Blue Carbon stocks, which will help guide decision-making in coastal ecosystem preservation and climate change mitigation. The Project was a collaborative initiative managed and facilitated by a partnership between MOEW and the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), and implemented in collaboration with the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) alongside the local authorities of the other emirates.

National Blue Carbon Project – Decision-maker Summary

National Blue Carbon Project – Executive Summary

AGEDI releases findings on valuation of the Emirate’s coastal ecosystems

Abu Dhabi, UAE – The Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), supported by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), today released the findings of its Ecosystem Services Assessment as part of Phase II of its Blue Carbon Project. The assessment explored how much stakeholders would be willing to accept as compensation for inability to access coastal waterways that provide amenity services, such as tourism, recreation or fishing, for an extended period of time. The lack of access was presented as a result Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs – also known as red tides) as a proxy, though disruption of amenity service can result from a variety of other causes. The assessment also studied willingness to pay for the sites’ preservation.

Click the below to view the report summaries:

Executive Summary Ecosystem Services Assessment 

Decision-maker Summary – Ecosystem Services Assessment

Healthy oceans critical to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals

Abu Dhabi, [7 October 2015] 

At Eye on Earth Summit 2015 today members of the Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative launched “The Oceans and Us”, a new publication that highlights the critical role healthy oceans play in achieving the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Co-written by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), GRID-Arendal, the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), The Nature Conservancy, the University of Western Brittany Brest (UBO), and the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership, the publication outlines the essential nature of conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems, and the related needs for data and policy actions. According to the entities, the role of healthy marine and coastal ecosystems for sustainable development is neither fully understood, nor fully integrated, into decision-making and planning.

“We found that healthy corals, mangroves and other marine and coastal ecosystems provide a myriad of benefits to sustainable development,” said Jane Glavan, AGEDI Partnerships Manager. “For Abu Dhabi this includes coastline stabilization, water purification, tourism value and, importantly, the sequestration and storage of carbon dioxide. A better understanding of marine ecosystem services is important to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as it enables informed policy choices on conserving and restoring valuable natural assets.”

Christian Neumann, Marine Ecosystem Services Project Manager at GRID-Arendal, stated: “With 200 million people on the planet employed directly or indirectly through marine fisheries alone, we simply cannot afford the continued decline of ocean health. Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems are indispensable in our fight against poverty, to provide adequate nutrition, health and employment to the people on the planet, and to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

The analysis undertaken by the partnership showed that the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources, an SDG in itself, supports an additional nine out of the 17 goals. Capturing the value of marine and coastal ecosystem services—the benefits people obtain from the ocean—is facilitated by strong communication between science and policy-making, ensuring reliable, objective and widely available data is provided to support informed decisions.

“There is growing global recognition among world and local leaders that healthy marine and coastal ecosystems have an essential role in our efforts to achieving a more sustainable future. This understanding has the power to bring together conservation and development communities. Only then can we harness this powerful, sustainable and global natural factory to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we have set for the people of this planet,” said Corinne Martin, Programme Officer Marine, UNEP-WCMC.

The full report is available to download here 

More information about the Eye on Earth Summit, speakers and new project proposals can be found at www.eoesummit.org.