Deep seabed mining and interplay of conservation and low carbon wnergys

Source: BBC

British scientists exploring an underwater mountain in the Atlantic Ocean have discovered a treasure trove of rare minerals.

Their investigation of a seamount more than 500km (300 miles) from the Canary Islands has revealed a crust of “astonishingly rich” rock.

Samples brought back to the surface contain the scarce substance tellurium in concentrations 50,000 times higher than in deposits on land.

Tellurium is used in a type of advanced solar panel, so the discovery raises a difficult question about whether the push for renewable energy may encourage mining of the seabed.

The rocks also contain what are called rare earth elements that are used in wind turbines and electronics.


Scottish windfarms have no impact on tourism

new report by consultancy BiGGAR Economics, which analysed the impact of Scottish windfarms on tourism-related employment in an area, this week concluded there was no evidence to suggest windfarms had an adverse effect on tourism in an area.
The potential impact on tourism is a common consideration during the planning process and as such the study set out to see if the impact could be quantified.
It analysed the level of windfarm installations and the level of employment in tourism in Scotland between 2009 and 2013 at both a national and a local level.
The study found that at the national level the number of wind turbines in Scotland increased by 121% over the period, while tourism-related employment rose by 10.8%.
However, the report found the distribution of both windfarms and tourism jobs varied significantly across the country so it also looked at the impact on tourism employment in areas with a higher proportion of wind turbines.
It concluded there was no clear relationship between the growth in the onshore wind sector and growth in the tourism sector.
The report also looked at tourism employment in the immediate locality of 18 windfarms across Scotland that have been built since 2009. This found that the there was a significant variation between sites and there was no overall relationship between the development of wind energy and tourism employment in an area,” the company said. “In fact, in the majority of cases the level of tourism employment increased more in the immediate area surrounding a windfarm than in the wider local authority area.
The results of the report echo similar studies largely debunking the alleged impact of windfarms on health and house prices.

Further information:
Guardian News Article : Scottish windfarms have ‘no effect’ on tourism, report finds (August 3, 2016)
Biggar Economics, Wind Farms and Tourism Trends in Scotland : A Research Report  (July2016)

June 27th, 2016 – State of Play on Organisation of 3rd Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference


All roads lead to Dublin this fall!

The 3rd Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference taking place on the 27th September in Dublin, Ireland at the Croke Park centre, will focus on Priority 1 of the Atlantic Action Plan “Promote entrepreneurship and innovation” creating networking opportunities for stakeholders with an interest in developing projects in the Atlantic Area.

As we are heading towards September we would like to share with you the following practical information:


You can download the updated version of the Conference’s agenda here.


Do not forget to register for free and declare your participation in our Conference workshops.


Stands are free of charge and the available 40 spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please read the guidelines and fill in the application.


You may find useful information about accommodation in Dublin here.


The World Ocean Council (WOC) report on “Ocean Industries and Marine Planning” provides the first multi-sector, industry-oriented review and analysis of the value, challenges and opportunities of marine spatial planning (MSP) for the ocean business community.

Building on this work, the 4th WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Rotterdam, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2016 – with its theme of “Ocean 2030: Sustainable Development Goals and the Ocean Business Community” – will address MSP and ocean industries through sessions on:

▪ Marine Planning and International Waters: Shaping High Seas Sustainable Development Through Spatial Planning

▪ Marine Planning and the North Sea: Multiple Ocean Use and Sustainable Development in a Heavily Used, Transboundary Sea Basin

▪ Multi-use Offshore Infrastructure: Creating Synergies in Ocean Industry Facilities

As MSP grows around the world, WOC is working to ensure that both the ocean business community and MSP proponents understand and address the need, value and opportunity for industry to be informed of, and engaged in, MSP.

Based on several years’ work of active engagement with both ocean industries and those advancing MSP, the WOC report shows that there are a variety of perspectives on MSP – its definition, need, use, evolution and implementation – within the diverse ocean business community.

The WOC report describes the following values that MSP may provide to industry:

▪ Identifying and developing data sources on marine ecosystems and their uses

▪ Streamlining regulatory/permitting processes

▪ Reducing user conflicts and associated litigation

▪ Increasing the potential for a balanced management approach

▪ Reducing investor uncertainty

▪ More efficiently using public and private funds

The WOC’s work with ocean industries reveals that the private sector seeks clarity on:

▪ The relationship between MSP and other governance processes and mechanisms

▪ Regulatory and authority gaps and uncertainties

▪ How MSP will function in multiple jurisdictions

▪ How the MSP process will remain relevant and transparent

The WOC CEO, Paul Holthus, will present these important results on industry and MSP at the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Worldwide conference this week (Azores, 23-24 June, 2016).

Since 2010, WOC has conducted industry outreach on MSP, organized industry/MSP conferences and forums, and shared industry perspectives with marine planners. WOC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in conducting the research and outreach that led to this report.

As the international, multi-industry leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”, the WOC is facilitating industry participation in marine-related programs and projects of the EU and other government and inter-governmental bodies.

The WOC report on Ocean Industries and Marine Planning is available at:

Blue Economy Business and Science Forum – Hamburg Summit

12th & 13th September, 2016

Join us for the first Blue Economy Business and Science Forum – Hamburg Summit on the 12th & 13th September, 2016 where leaders and professionals who are passionate about the Blue Economy will examine opportunities and barriers to innovation while celebrating scientific and industrial achievements.
Enjoy two full days of inspiring talks and discussions at the International Maritime Museum, Hamburg, including key note speeches from EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science Carlos Moedas and EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. The wide range of speakers and panellists can be viewed on the Summit programme available here.
The Blue Economy Business Awards 2016 will also be hosted during the Summit’s Gala Dinner which aims to showcase the excellent practices from industry and to recognise and reward individuals and organisations that have made a specific contribution to developing innovation in the Blue Economy. More information on the Blue Economy Business Awards 2016 is available here.
Click here to register today for the Blue Economy Business and Science Forum – Hamburg Summit


Webinar : Investing in our Oceans: how to make it happen

2 June 2016, 14.00 – 15.30 CET
Where to find and how to access the money needed to invest in sustainable blue projects? This webinar will cover the major ways to fund projects in blue economy and show how project promoters can combine different funding sources.
Experts will be on call to answer questions on:
–         European Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI)
–         European Structural Investment Funds and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
–         Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
–         Funding for marine research and innovation
Languages: all presentations will be in English but during the Q&A session you can send in your questions also in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Greek and Bulgarian.
Send your questions:
–         By e-mail to
–         On Twitter to @EU_MARE using the hashtag #EUGreenWeek
More information:
–         Green Week:
–         Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

The Basque Declaration & New Pathways for European Cities and Towns to Create Productive, Sustainable and Resilient Cities


The Basque Declaration is now open for endorsement

Whether you represent a city or an organisation, or you are a citizen concerned about sustainable development and the future of our urban areas, you can now endorse the Basque Declaration, which outlines new pathways to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities and towns for a liveable and inclusive Europe.

The Basque Declaration, acclaimed by the participants of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns held in the Basque Country from 27-29 April 2016, is an important step following the Aalborg Charter (1994) and the Aalborg Commitments (2004).

The Basque Declaration aims to create stable and productive cities and towns and a good quality of life for citizens. It highlights the necessity and desire of local leaders to think outside the box and find innovative ways to economically and socially engage with civil society in order to meet economic, environmental and social challenges.

A total of 15 pathways across three categories – socio-cultural transformation, socio-economic transformation and technological transformation – are at the heart of the Basque Declaration. They aim to inspire transformative actions from local authorities, organisations and individuals.

If your city is interested in endorsing the Basque Declaration as pathways to push transformation from the local level, or if your organisation supports the 15 pathways in the Basque Declaration to co-create more productive, sustainable and resilient cities, or if you, as a citizen, agree on the need for a technological, socio-economic and socio-cultural transformation of our societies, we encourage you to endorse the Basque Declaration.