AGEDI highlights Blue Carbon at COP 21

The AGEDI team leveraged its Blue Carbon knowledge to contribute to climate change discussions at the Conference of Parties (COP), COP 21, in Paris, France.

The team highlighted Blue Carbon in panel discussions in theĀ IUCNĀ Pavilion,Ā Taking Implementation of Policy, Programmes and Projects of Blue Carbon Ecosystems to Scale: Identifying the Priority Next StepsĀ and during a speaking opportunity at the GCC Pavilion onĀ GCC regional efforts in their adaptation actions through: water conservation, marine protection, urban planning and desertification; including theirĀ mitigation co-benefits.

The GCC Blue Carbon workshop was also discussed at theĀ UNFCCCĀ andĀ UNEPĀ Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) session, and the team also ensured a Blue Carbon contribution to a side event showcasing the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea regionsā€™ efforts in their adaptation actions through water conservation, marine protection, urban planning and desertification, including their mitigation co-benefits. Learn more about AGEDIā€™s Blue Carbon workĀ here.

Here’s a video from the conference.

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 UAEā€™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 ā€“ Decision-maker Summary

National Blue Carbon Project ā€“ Executive Summary

Healthy oceans critical to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals

Abu Dhabi, [7 October 2015]Ā 

At Eye on Earth Summit 2015 today members of the Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative launched ā€œThe Oceans and Usā€, 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.

ā€œWe found that healthy corals, mangroves and other marine and coastal ecosystems provide a myriad of benefits to sustainable development,ā€ said Jane Glavan, AGEDI Partnerships Manager. ā€œFor 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.ā€

Christian Neumann, Marine Ecosystem Services Project Manager at GRID-Arendal, stated: ā€œWith 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.ā€

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 servicesā€”the benefits people obtain from the oceanā€”is facilitated by strong communication between science and policy-making, ensuring reliable, objective and widely available data is provided to support informed decisions.

ā€œThere 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,ā€ said Corinne Martin, Programme Officer Marine, UNEP-WCMC.

The full report is available to download hereĀ 

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





AGEDI’s Eye on Earth Global Network of Networks (GNON) work highlighted at GIS conferenceĀ 

Geneva, Switzerland ā€“ As facilitator of the Eye on Earth Summitā€™s GNON Special Initiative, and specialist in the field, AGEDI attended the annual GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the United Nations and the International Community conference in May 2015. The premier invitation only event for GIS practitioners and information managers focused on technological advancement, the application of GIS to support sustainable development and humanitarian missions, and collaboration within the community. In addition to presenting an overview of progress in the Summit in the Global Initiatives session, AGEDI also co-chaired a break-out session on open data.Ā  The GNON Special Initiative aims to join existing and emerging environmental information networks to facilitate systematic and inclusive access to, and reporting on, global environmental data, information and knowledge.

Contribute to a global snapshot of biodiversity with National Geographic’s Great Nature Project

From 15-25 May 2015, people all over the world are documenting biodiversity as part of a global snapshot for NationalĀ Geographicā€™s Great Nature Project. Grab a camera or phone and take photos of wildĀ plants and animals, then upload and share them on The goal of the global snapshot, which is repeated annually, is to documentĀ biodiversity all over the world during a specific window of time. Over time, this will provide data that can be used to answer scientific questions or provide useful information to decision-makers. Use the initiative to help keepĀ track of whatĀ wasĀ documented, see what amazing biodiversity other people observe, and even get help identifying different species.


Middle Eastā€™s first Ecocity World Summit calls for abstracts

The next Ecocity World Summit (ECWS), to be hosted in the Middle East for the very first time, has called on the wider community to submit abstracts for papers or presentations at the summit, set to be held in Abu Dhabi from 11 to 13 October 2015. Authors are invited to advance the state of thinking and inspire the next generation of ideas, projects and strategies for eco and smart cities of the future. If selected, authors will be given the unique opportunity to present their work to a top-calibre audience of local and international governmental, academic, private-sector leaders and eco-experts. The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 April 2015. Visit the ECWSĀ page for more information.

Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi to boost environmental information for decision-makers

Over 650 delegates from government, UN bodies, the non-governmental sector, private sector, academia and civil society will gather in Abu Dhabi between 6 and 8 October for the Eye on Earth (EoE) Summit 2015, to bridge the information gap policy-makers face in designing plans for sustainable development.The experts gathered will explore solutions and actions necessary for greater access to, and sharing of, environmental, social and economic data to support sustainable development. The Summit will address the profound impact that rapid economic and industrial development is having on natural resources, biodiversity and consumption patterns around the world. These global challenges require international collaborative action to find transformative solutions that span political boundaries and help secure a sustainable future for all. One of the critical first steps ā€“ and the focus of EoEĀ Summit 2015 ā€“ is to address the need for evidence-based decision-making that can benefit from the available wealth of scientific data, information and knowledge, if they are made more accessible to all. For more information, visit the EoE website.

AGEDI presents Blue Carbon work at Natural Capital Symposium

Stanford, CA, USA –Ā AGEDI presented its Blue Carbon work at the 2015 Natural Capital Symposium – held atĀ Stanford University – which gathersĀ people from around the worldĀ thatĀ areĀ working to factor the true value of nature into decision-making. AGEDI participated in the Symposium’s Lightning Talks session, Ā highlighting itsĀ Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration ProjectĀ and how the projectĀ findingsĀ have been used inĀ Abu Dhabiā€™s coastal ecosystem management and climate change mitigation and development plans.

AGEDI appointed lead technical coordinating agency for GCC-level of Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative

Lima, Peru – TheĀ Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative was launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC)Ā 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) held in Lima, Peru in December 2014. The Initiative, a collaborative effort between the secretariat of UNFCCCĀ and the United Nations Environment Programme, aims to remove knowledge barriers that impede the implementation and scaling up of adaptation action.Ā During UNFCCC COP 20, the UAE’s delegationĀ offered to conduct adaptation knowledge gap analysis and priority setting for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)Ā region. As the appointedĀ lead technical coordinating agency at the GCC level, AGEDI will leverage capitalise on itsĀ Climate Change Programme, whileĀ theĀ UNFCCC willĀ provide the global platform to present the outcomes of this collaboration.

AGEDI presents at Coral Reefs of Arabia Conference

Abu Dhabi, UAE –Ā The Arabian region contains some of the most unique but understudied coral reef ecosystems on earth, including those in the Arabian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea. Ā The Coral Reefs of Arabia Conference, held at NYU Abu Dhabi from 15 to 17 February, brought leading scientists and marine managers studying theseĀ reefs togetherĀ to exchange recent research findings, and to enhance collaboration to improveĀ understanding and conservation of these important ecosystems. AGEDI’s work inĀ Arabian Gulf Climatic Ocean Modelling was showcased at the event via a poster presentation, illustrating how climate change is expected to unfold in the oceans in the Arabian Gulf. Oceans Modelling is one sub-project of AGEDI’sĀ Climate Change ProgrammeĀ – the mostĀ comprehensive study of the issue for the region.