Diving enthusiasts can measure ocean temperatures in European coastal regions, and assist in ocean monitoring and adapting to change

By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate and Global Change 

A study, published in Science Reports on Friday, shows that measurements taken from the decompression computers often worn by divers can provide accurate data on ocean temperatures. Scientists from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Scotland took a range of decompression computers on dives alongside scientific instruments, and showed that the results tallied. Scientists have already collected more than 7,500 dive records from around the world via the Dive Into Science website. Kieran Hyder at Cefas, who led the citizen science project stated that to undertake a global science programme that could generate this information would be hugely expensive, but there are millions of sport and commercial dives every year. Making use of just a small fraction of those dives will greatly increase our knowledge of what is happening worldwide. The potential of scuba divers to contribute to ocean monitoring is huge. The new data is particularly valuable in highly changeable coastal environments, where many dives occur, as well as in areas that are rarely sampled by other methods. According to the Dive Into Science project, which is funded by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the extra data could prove crucial in the efforts to understand and predict the effects of our changing climate. 
The very interesting aspect of this approach to citizen science from an EUCC perspectives,  is the overall simplicity of approach,  and the possibilities for replication for European coastal water and the Mediterranean. Simplicity and replication are illustrated by the attached template, and the Dive into Science website illustrate this.

Further information

Diving enthusiasts could be used to measure ocean temperatures

SCUBA divers as oceanographic samplers: The potential of dive computers to augment aquatic temperature monitoring

Dive into Science website


Get Involved with the Global Civil Society Platform on Sustainable Development


We have started this group to be an interactive forum for global civil society coordination on the Sustainable Development Agenda, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. This group is open to all members of civil society and focuses on the following activities:

  • Implementation: Civil society is already convening at the national and regional level- join us to share your story.
  • Monitoring & Accountability: Civil society has begun to collect social, environmental and economic data to hold governments accountable for their 2015 sustainable development commitments- join us to access tools and knowledge.
  • Policy Coordination: There are hundreds of commitments- join us to ensure they are compatible at all levels of governance.
  • Public Mobilisation: While major agreements have been made, many peoples’ needs are not being addressed- join us to ensure all voices are heard.

Working Groups :

If you have an interest in shaping the core direction of the platform, sign up for one of the working groups.These groups are open to all members of civil society and are used to make inclusive decisions about the development of the platform. They are as follows:

  • Outreach & Communications: This group aims to define outreach and communications priorities, including the branding, visual identity and specific messages from the initiative.
  • Resourcing & Projects: This working group considers how we can provide resources to enable this initiative to deliver on the activities set out below.
  • Governance & Membership: This working group is focused on defining the governance architecture of the new platform, it will set out a clear and inclusive process for accountability and election of a leadership group to be established by July 2016.


Activities to Date

On 28 September 2015, a group of civil society leaders from south and north came together under the shared objective to ensure delivery and accountability of the commitments governments have made in 2015 when adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement. We believe that it is essential that the core promise of these new goals is realised and that all people are able to benefit from a wider transformative agenda to build a just and sustainable world.

Over the past two months, the group has developed a range of key joint commitments and we are looking forward to continuing this dialogue. This is your space to share the latest developments in your country and to learn about what is happening across the world- we welcome you to this group and look forward to meeting you at one of our upcoming events.



The Amazonian tribespeople who sailed down the Seine – video

Source: The Guardian

The Kichwa tribe in the Sarayaku region of the Amazon in Ecuador believe in the ‘living forest’, where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting oil companies who want to exploit their ancestral land. A delegation of indigenous people are at the Paris COP21 climate conference to make sure their voices are heard. Can they win their battle?


UN Post-2015 Development Agenda: Addis Ababa Action Agenda from Third International Conference on Financing for Development

By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor

post2015Third International Conference on Financing for Development

The UN Post-2015 Development Agenda is proceeding to unfold, including a focus on the important issue of financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The United Nations General Assembly recently endorsed the new global action agenda for financing sustainable development, or the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, from the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Agenda as a major step that firmly puts the world on the path to a more prosperous, just and sustainable world. General Assembly President Sam Kutesa indicated that the action demonstrates collective commitment towards eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable development and building a better future for all, and urged UN Member States to implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda .

The  Agenda contains a series of measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for economic, social and environmental challenges. Building on the outcomes of previous development financing conferences held in Monterrey, Mexico, and in Doha, Qatar, the Action Agenda also addresses all sources of finance, and covers cooperation on a range of issues including technology, science, innovation, trade and capacity building.

In his statement to the Assembly, Mr. Ban said by endorsing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, we launch a new era of cooperation and global partnership. This development can be the foundation for success at the UN summit to adopt the UN post-2015 development agenda, in New York this September, and at the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP 21, in Paris in December.

Civil society organizations have responded to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), and have released responses and summaries to the draft outcome document for the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. Responses address,areas of consensus and disagreement on the post-2015 draft; recommendations on improving text related to inequality, climate change, energy, land and other topics; data challenges; the translation of discourse into policy; education; and the role of business.

Further information

Conference http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/

Outcome Document  Addis Ababa Action Agenda (16 July 2015)

Civil Society CSO FfD Forum Declaration (12 July 2015)

Business Sector International Business Forum Summary (14 July 2015)

IISD Article http://nr.iisd.org/news/civil-society-reflects-on-ffd3-issues-recommendations-on-post-2015-agenda/

Civil Society Blogs:

Greenhill Blog

GPW Blog

ODI Executive Director Blog 

Development Initiatives Blog

Oxfam Recommendations

SDG Compass

[IASS Event Website

IASS Website

ChildRightNow Website

The Eye on Earth Summit (October 6 to 8, Abu Dhabi), The Oceans & Blue Carbon Special Initiative , and Data Innovation Challenges

By Magdalena A K Muir, Climate Editor

Following the 2011 inaugural Summit, the Eye on Earth 2015  promotes dialogue and drives international action that revolutionises the way collect, access, share and use data and information for real-world change. The 2015 summit will seek to foster a culture of collaboration through a network committed to achieving scalable impact for a sustainable future. Based on their focus on the Oceans and Blue Carbon initiative, the 2015 Summit is very relevant for coastal and marine areas.

The Oceans & Blue Carbon Initiative

  • Uses innovative technologies and Citizen Science techniques to develop dynamic habitat mapping and validation and upload tools to deliver timely, fit-for purpose, reliable and interoperable spatial datasets for mangroves, saltmarshes and sea grasses;
  • Develops internationally approved methodologies and data standards to meet the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) requirements for transparent, complete, consistent, comparable and accurate data;
  • Builds user communities, networks and local capacities to maximise the uptake of methodologies, data interoperability, and implementation and interpretation of carbon and ecosystem service assessments for management planning and knowledge sharing;
  • Integrates work across on-going and future activities in Blue Carbon on a global scale.
  • Increases usage of ecosystem based approached in coastal management and conservation, which maximise climate change mitigation and adaptation potential;
  • Reduces uncertainties and risk in trade-offs between development and conservation, particularly with respect to vulnerable populations; and
  • Develops greater local capacity to use market-based mechanisms as a source of sustainable financing for coastal management and conservation.

Stakeholders of the Oceans & Blue Carbon initiative include: Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), Global Environment Fund (GEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Global Resource Information Database (GRID) – Arendal, World Bank, Blue Ventures, Ecological Society of America (ESA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Forest Trends, Open Oceans Global (OOG) and Conservation International.

Data Innovation Challenges

The organizers of the Eye on Earth Summit have  three data innovation challenges for which the finalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas at the Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The three competitions launched are the Data Innovation Showcase, Data Visualization Challenge and Blogging Competition, all of which support the Summit in its focus on using data to secure future for coasts, oceans and the planet..

Under the Innovation Showcase, citizen scientists are invited to create projects that use open data to: better manage food distribution and consumption, and reduce waste; support the health of forest ecosystems; and benefit urban biodiversity. According to the competition organizers, possible project ideas range from crowdsourcing data for tree inventories to creating a platform for getting excess food to people in need. Three finalists will be selected from this competition to present their work at the Summit, where a winner will be chosen.

Artists, designers and others interested in the creative display of data are invited to take part in the Visualization Challenge, which requires entrants to build visual interpretations of the social and economic impacts of poor air quality, oceanic warming and natural disasters. Participants can use images, animations, infographics, three-dimensional (3-D) models, computer simulations, interactive maps and diagrams, and other types of visualizations. One finalist will be selected to attend the Summit.

The Blogging Competition calls on writers and bloggers to submit a piece under the theme ‘A Better World through Knowledge and Information.’ The submissions are requested to be aimed at catalyzing the ‘data revolution’ by addressing how to improve data availability for a more sustainable future and healthier planet. The winner will report live from the Summit as the ‘Official Eye on Earth Summit 2015 Blogger.’ The selected finalists will have their airfare and lodging covered so they may participate in the Summit, which will take place on 6-8 October 2015, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Further information:


Eye On Earth

2nd Civil Society Forum for the Southern Neighbourhood issues report from Forum held on May 28 to 29, 2015, Brussels

A report highlighting outcomes and issues addressed at the 2nd Civil Society Forum for the Southern Neighbourhood has been issued this week. The , gathered Civil Society organisations from the Southern Mediterranean and the EU, academic and think tank organisations and media and professional communicators from both sides of the Mediterranean.
The Forum was an opportunity to reinforce the commitment to making civil society an active partner in discussions on the EU’s relations with the Southern Neighbourhood. A key element was discussion on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, a topic addressed in several of the plenaries and in three working group sessions. The other working groups examined selected topics from 2014 meetings, identified by participants both as in need of action and suitable for a cooperative regional approach.
The main themes that emerged were:
· Need for greater understanding of the revised ENP and the actions it will encompass.
· Greater involvement of the south, across governments and civil society, in planning policy actions.
· Framing of north-south relationships as true partners, not as aid donor/recipient dressed with the title ‘partnership’ for political reasons.
· Positive reaction to being asked to contribute to the ENP review, accompanied by the plea that civil society input should be listened to and not discarded in favour of reaching accord with governments.
· Civil society needs a role not just in the review but also in implementing and monitoring consequent actions.
· The need to see EU policy reflecting a cohesive and coherent approach from Member States – not necessarily the case at the moment.
· Accepting that many of the key issues – economy and employment, migration and mobility, gender, youth unemployment, apathy and potential for radicalisation – are interlinked and need to be tackled in a way that sees such links.
Further Information: