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…

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.

 

 

 

 

UAE to host the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) in 2018

Punta del Este, Uruguay – The UAE Ministry of Environment & Water (MoEW) recently hosted a side event in the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP12) – a successful side event that was attended by 120 delegates from different countries and international organisations, and saw the UAE being accepted to host the next edition, COP 13, in Dubai in 2018.  AGEDI’s work on the Blue Carbon Project in partnership with MoEW was highlighted at the dedicated side event, as well as key UAE sustainable projects and events, including the upcoming Eye on Earth Summit and Ecocity World Summit, to be held in October this year in Abu Dhabi. AGEDI’s blue carbon and ecosystem services outcomes support the UAE’s position to the Ramsar Convention; the country has been a party to the Convention since 2007, and has designated five wetland sites onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (‘Ramsar Sites’), considered to be of high value to the country and the world because of the ecosystem services they provide. The nation’s wetland ecosystem is one of the most unique and diverse in the Arabian Peninsula, and includes marshes, vast tidal flats, fresh water aquifers, mangroves and coral reefs.