UN report offers blueprint for ocean, coastal sustainability

A new report co-produced by several UN agencies (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, IOC, and IMO) lays out the contribution of oceans and coasts to global sustainability and the roles of ocean sectors in the Green Economy. It also offers several proposals for reducing environmental stressors, restoring ecosystem function, reforming institutions and policy, and more. Prepared as a contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, A Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability is available at www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/ioc-oceans/priority-areas/rio-20-ocean.

Analysis of 350 case studies of coastal management in Europe

The EU-funded OURCOAST project – a three-year initiative to gather and share best practices among coastal management projects in Europe – has released a report analyzing 350 case studies of integrated coastal zone management across the continent. The report identifies several factors that contributed to successful cases, as well as limiting factors. To download Comparative Analyses of the OURCOAST Cases, go to http://ec.europa.eu/ourcoast/download.cfm?fileID=1709. (Note: the file is a PDF, although not identified by name as such. You might need to rename it with a .pdf suffix for your computer to open it correctly.)

US launches one-stop web portal for marine planners

The US National Ocean Council has launched a website to serve as a portal for data, information, and tools to support efforts in coastal and marine spatial planning. The site aims to be a one-stop hub, providing catalogs of datasets (government and otherwise), guidance on decision support tools, updates on regional spatial planning efforts in the US, and forums for public discussion. Go to www.data.gov/communities/ocean.

Challenges and good practices in ocean and coastal governance

A new issue of the biannual magazine Tropical Coasts, published by PEMSEA (Partnerships in the Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia), focuses on challenges and good practices in ocean and coastal governance. The issue is based on discussions at the International Conference on Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development, held during the East Asian Seas Congress in Manila, Philippines, in November 2009. The magazine is available at http://bit.ly/PEMSEA.

Report: Next steps for marine EBM in Arctic

A new report from IUCN examines barriers to marine EBM in the Arctic, and identifies collaborative steps that nations can take to advance EBM in the region. The publication summarizes the findings of a September 2011 workshop on the subject in Reykjavik, Iceland. TheWorkshop Report: IUCN/NRDC Workshop on Ecosystem-Based Management in the Arctic Marine Environment is at http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/arctic_workshop_report_iceland_final.pdf.

Coastal development the main threat to Arabian Gulf ecosystems

A new report published by the United Nations University Institute on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) examines challenges facing the coastal and marine ecosystems of the Arabian Gulf region, and concludes that current management strategies are insufficient to ensure the future health of resources. The main challenge is rampant coastal development, which has resulted in widespread loss of productive natural habitat. The authors recommend the tighter regulation of coastal development by a single lead agency at the national level, backed up by integrated and comprehensive laws and policies. The report Managing the Growing Impacts of Development on Fragile Coastal and Marine Ecosystems – Lessons from the Gulf is available at http://bit.ly/LessonsfromtheGulf.

Working paper examines EU policy landscape for marine spatial planning

A working paper by Wanfei Qiu and Peter Jones at University College London provides an overview of existing EU-level policy as it relates to marine spatial planning, and discusses interactions among key EU policies, directives, and related issues. The working paper "The Emerging Policy Landscape for Marine Spatial Planning in Europe: Overview of Key Policies, Directives and Regulations, and Their Interactions" is available at www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfwpej/pdf/EPLMSPEU.pdf.

New forum on marine debris management and prevention

Marine Affairs Research and Education (MARE), publisher of MEAM, has launched a new online forum on marine debris management, research, and prevention. The MarineDebris.Info forum offers a listserv for online discussion and a regular webinar series on marine debris topics of interest. The first webinar in the series was held 12 December 2011 on preparations for the arrival of Japanese tsunami debris in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. For more information, go to www.marinedebris.info.