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The newly adopted Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the work of the informal working group European Marine Monitoring and Assessment (EMMA)

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Presentation on theme: "The newly adopted Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the work of the informal working group European Marine Monitoring and Assessment (EMMA)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The newly adopted Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the work of the informal working group European Marine Monitoring and Assessment (EMMA) The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), proposed by the European Commission in 2005, was agreed in second reading, and it is now coming out of the decision-making process. The European Parliament voted on 11 December 2007 on the main amendments agreed with the Environment Council, and the Council is formalising its agreement at the ECOFIN Council of May All that is still necessary for the Directive to enter into force is its formal signature (by both the Council and Parliament Presidents) and publication in the Officiala Journal of the European Communities, which are expected in June and July Entry into force of the MSFD should be after the summer. In this presentation, some of the main elements of the MSFD supposed to be of interest to the EIONET community are explained, and a few slides address the work of the European Marine Monitoring and Assesment (EMMA) informal Working Group to facilitate preparations for MSFD implementation in terms of the exchange of environmental data and information across the boundaries of international institutions. Gert Verreet, ‘Marine’ unit, DG Environment, European Commission Eva Royo Gelabert, Project Manager, Marine assessments, EEA

2 Broader context The Marine strategy has its roots in the th Environmental Action Plan. There it now forms one of several thematic strategies that shape current environmental policy. The marine strategy was the fruit of four years of interactive development which involved a lot of stakeholder consultation. The European Commission under President Barroso has, since 2005, also invested significant efforts in bringing about an integrated maritime policy. This overall maritime policy aims to foster economic and social sea-related opportunities in the context of a sustainable use of the seas.

3 December 2007 also brought integration…
« The European Council welcomes the conclusion of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as the environmental pillar of [the EU maritime] policy » (European Council, Heads of State & Government, 14 December 2007) → opportunities in areas of knowledge (research), data and information, sectoral eco-efficiency, … → a push for concrete integration of policies towards sustainability The European Council of December 2008 already welcomed the conclusion in second reading of the MSFD, and considers it as the environmental pillar of the Maritime Policy, as had been proposed by the Commission. This means , in one direction, that the Directive sets 'boundary conditions' (sustainability) for maritime activities in Member States waters, which will need to work towards achieving 'good environmental status' in marine waters by 2020. In the other direction, the Maritime Policy also provides a framework to address general environmental pressures in a number of sectors (e.g. air pollution from ships). Such environmental improvements under the Maritime Policy can have benefits beyond delivering specifically towards the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, e.g. they can (1) help European maritime industries to be competitive when they are environmental leaders; (2) reduce Europe's footprint on marine waters beyond ours. The interlinkage creates a number of important opportunities due to enhanced emphasis on knowledge creation, sharing of data and information, sectoral improvements (including towards eco-efficiency). Thus, there is a prospect of concrete integration of policies. This marks the start of a new important chapter in marine environmental protection for the Union. The Directive should significantly reinforce the effectiveness of actions to protect the marine environment in Member States waters.

4 Key issues & approach chosen for the Marine Strategy (2005)
Different environmental conditions and threats Many diverse stakeholders with overlapping obligations in overlapping sea areas Lack of coherence and uncertain adequacy in level of control Diversity in information base and gaps in knowledge Duplication of efforts, waste of resources A dual EU - regional approach An ecosystem based approach A knowledge based approach A cooperative approach Some of the main principles of the approach chosen in the EU Marine Strategy are mentioned in this slide (right-hand side). They were selected in relation to the analysis made of the existing situation (left-hand side). The focus of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is on the delivery of good environmental status, through marine strategies. Member States develop those strategies gradually, and a strategy culminates in the programmes of measures necessary to achieve or maintain that good environmental status by the year 2020 at the latest. This result-driven focus will require a more systemic approach and prioritising action on the most vital aspects that affect the overall marine health status.

5 Regional (and/or) sub-regional strategies to be developed
Baltic Sea (cf. HELCOM, BSAP) North East Atlantic Ocean (cf. OSPAR) Mediterranean Sea (cf. Barcelona Convention) Black Sea (cf. Bucharest Convention) Sub-regions possible for 2. and 3. Regions and/or sub-regions are the management units for Member States marine strategies. Member States in North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean have to decide on boundaries of sub-regions if they choose to work at that level. Regional Sea Conventions are recognised in the Directive as important multilateral instruments that Member States should use to further the aims of the MSFD. They shall be used for coordination among the Member States with respect to that Region or Sub-Region, and the Member States shall make every effort to co-ordinate their actions also with third countries in the structures of the Regional Sea Conventions.

6 MSFD implementation milestones
Marine Strategies to be progressively developed and implemented based on the following steps: Description and assessment of current environmental status including the environmental impact of human activities – 4 years after entry into force Determination of good environmental status – 4 years after entry into force Establishment of environmental targets and associated indicators – 4 years after entry into force Monitoring programme – 6 years after entry into force Programme of measures towards good environmental status – by 2015 Entry into operation of programmes of measures – by 2016 ‘Good Environmental Status’ – by 2020 Strategies to be devised building upon existing programmes and activities developed in the framework of international agreements, e.g. regional seas conventions + Iterative approach – adaptive management – regular reviews (every 6 years) A strategic approach requires the formulation of objectives and the main means to achieve them. So the determination of 'good environmental status' (in 2012) and the 'programmes of measures' (in ) are the main milestones towards the reaching in practice a good environmental status (by 2020). However, these main elements do not stand alone, but build on: the initial assessment of current environmental status, pressures and impacts – (in 2012); the formulation of environmental targets and associated indicators – (also in 2012); information on the already established spatial protection measures, including marine protected areas under the Natura2000 network and other marine spatial protection regimes – (by 2013). the establishment of a monitoring programme – (by 2014); After the preparatory phase it will be clear what the gap is between the current status and the desired good environmental status and then measures can be designed and finalised to bridge that gap.

7 Timeline for implementation
The first 4 years of preparation will need to result in the first 3 elements of the strategies, namely the initial assessment, determination of ‘Good environmental status’ and establishment of environmental targets and indicators. The preparatory phase will then be finalised with the definition of a coordinated monitoring programme. The formulation of a programme of measures and its entry into force in should address (overcome) the gap between the existing and desired status. A six-yearly review of strategy elements can be used to have a structured approach to ‘adaptive management’. If certain ambitions of ‘good environmental status’ are not fully realised in 2020, that can be used to revise (strengthen) the programme of measures and review of the underlying strategy elements.

8 Initial Assessment (2012) Pressures & impacts
The ‘Initial Assessment’ shall take account of existing data (and information from existing assessments, e.g. regional sea convention work and EEA) where available and comprising the following: an analysis of the essential features and characteristics, and current environmental status of those waters (indicative list of elements not shown); (b) an analysis of the predominant pressures and impacts, including human activity, on the environmental status of those waters which is based on the indicative lists of elements set out in Table 2 of Annex III shown here. It should also include an economic and social analysis of the use of those waters and of the cost of degradation of the marine environment, an issue that is only starting to be addressed by some Member States recently. The EEA has facilitated work in EMMA on indicators (see later) by identifying, for the main elements of what an initial assessment is generally assumed to cover, what existing data and information (/monitoring) exists. The prospect that for many of these elements a picture will have to be established at regional level in the form of an indicator has lead to the idea to examine, in a Pan-European perspective, how comparable indicator presentation of such information is or can be. The aim is to gradually develop and converge indicators where similar information (at sub-regional, regional or EU scale) is presented in a similar indicator, so that indicator-based assessment information can be easily ‘transported’ between EU and other international contexts.

9 Art. 9 – Determination of good environmental status
By reference to the initial assessment made pursuant to Article 8(1), Member States shall, in respect of each Marine Region or Sub-Region concerned, determine, for the marine waters, a set of characteristics for good environmental status, on the basis of the qualitative descriptors listed in Annex I. Member States shall take into account the indicative lists of elements set out in Table 1 of Annex III and, in particular, physical and chemical features, habitat types, biological features and hydro-morphology. Member States shall also take into account the pressures or impacts of human activities in each Marine Region or Sub-Region, having regard to the indicative list set out in Table 2 of Annex III.2. At the same time as making an assessment of the current status, Member States will also have to define, within a common approach, a set of specific characteristics of what is ‘good environmental status’ for their waters (in the (sub-)regional context). The need to formulate policy objectives first and foremost in environmental terms will ensure that an ecosystem-based approach can truly start to flourish (in the past, it happened that marine policy objectives were formulated without a clear foundation in desired environmental status terms). This approach can also ensure that policy makers connect with the assessment and monitoring knowledge that underpins their strategy, and that understanding cause-effect relations (e.g. along DPSIR) receives much more emphasis as this then becomes a necessary condition for a successful strategy. This overall ambition is a big challenge. Some regional sea conventions have already started with the formulation of ‘ecological quality objectives’, but the degree of experience for the ‘quality elements’ or ‘descriptors’ (see list in next two slides) that need to be addressed is rather uneven, so a lot remains to be done in order to address all the obstacles for the formulation of EU-wide criteria and methodological standards on the basis of which all Member States can proceed in this task.

10 MSFD Annex I (1/2) Qualitative Descriptors for determining ‘Good Environmental Status’ (referred to in Articles 3(5), 9(1), 9(3) and 24) (1) Biological diversity is maintained. The quality and occurrence of habitats and the distribution and abundance of species are in line with prevailing physiographic, geographic and climatic conditions. (2) Non-indigenous species introduced by human activities are at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystems. (3) Populations of all commercially exploited fish and shellfish are within safe biological limits, exhibiting a population age and size distribution that is indicative of a healthy stock . (4) All elements of the marine food webs, to the extent that they are known, occur at normal abundance and diversity and levels capable of ensuring the long-term abundance of the species and the retention of their full reproductive capacity. (5) Human-induced eutrophication is minimised, especially adverse effects thereof, such as losses in biodiversity, ecosystem degradation, harmful algae blooms and oxygen deficiency in bottom waters.

11 MSFD Annex I (2/2) (6) Sea floor integrity is at a level that ensures that the structure and functions of the ecosystems are safeguarded and benthic ecosystems, in particular, are not adversely affected . (7) Permanent alteration of hydrographical conditions does not adversely affect marine ecosystems. (8) Concentrations of contaminants are at levels not giving rise to pollution effects. (9) Contaminants in fish and other seafood for human consumption do not exceed levels established by Community legislation or other relevant standards. (10) Properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. (11) Introduction of energy, including underwater noise, is at levels that do not adversely affect the marine environment. To determine the characteristics of good environmental status in a Marine Region or Sub-Region as provided for in Article 9(1)║, Member States shall consider each of the qualitative descriptors listed in this Annex in order to identify those descriptors which are to be used to determine good environmental status for that Marine Region or Sub-Region. When a Member State considers that it is not appropriate to use one or more of those descriptors, it shall provide the Commission with a justification in the framework of the notification made pursuant to Article 9(2).

12 Art. 10 – Establishment of environmental targets
On the basis of the initial assessment made pursuant to Article 8(1), Member States shall, in respect of each Marine Region or Sub-Region, establish a comprehensive set of environmental targets and associated indicators for their marine waters so as to guide progress towards achieving good environmental status in the marine environment, taking into account the indicative lists of pressures and impacts set out in Table 2 of Annex III, and of characteristics set out in Annex IV. When devising those targets and indicators, Member States shall take into account the continuing application of relevant existing environmental targets laid down at national, Community or international level in respect of the same waters, ensuring that these targets are mutually compatible and that relevant transboundary impacts and transboundary features are also taken into account, to the extent possible. Whereas ‘Good environmental status’ (GES) is clearly a desired Status objective, the directive also provides for the necessary formulation of a comprehensive set of environmental targets and associated indicators ‘so as to guide progress towards achieving GES’. It is clear that these targets and indicators can cover a wider range of the DPSIR chain (e.g. also pressures, or specific impacts) and hence can help to chart progress towards GES. It can be practical, especially in the early years, to have indicators that are more ‘responsive’ to management action (e.g. give an early indication of how things develop). It can be expected that among the indicators chosen by the Member States, some will be established at a regional / sub-regional level (and for some even at EU level), whereas others might be of a purely national nature.

13 DPSIR and indicators The DPSIR chain of general causality can thus become populated by a number of indicators following implementation of Art. 10 of the Directive. The « indicator-generation capacity » of the Directive will also find its reflection in the ‘coordinated monitoring programmes’ of Art. 11.

14 Monitoring programmes
The Directive positions the monitoring programme then as the final element in the preparation phase of the Member State’s strategy, and it should respond to the findings of the initial assessment, and reflect the needs to monitor ‘good environmental status’ as well as its derived targets (and indicators). There are some further requirements for monitoring programmes to be: Compatible inside EU (with other legislation) and outside EU (within regional conventions) Use consistent monitoring methods to facilitate comparability of results Specifications for monitoring and assessment can be established through comitology. These latter provisions are also tools to speed up the harmonisation of commonly used indicators.

15 Organisation? For data issues, a WISE-Marine Implementation Group or MSFD Working Group on ‘Reporting’ (attached to both the existing WISE Steering Group and MSFD comitology) will be set up to concretise planning and partnerships. Overall MSFD implementation organisation is likely to start with the priority requirements specified in the Directive (comitology for ‘Good Environmental Status’ etc.) The Commission is currently formulating an organisation concept for the collective work to be undertaken at EU level to put in place all the tools for Member State implementation of the Directive. In the WISE-Marine concept paper it was already announced that a group on implementing this data and information infrastructure would be required. Such a group will also need to work out reporting formats etc. that need to be officially established through comitology. In view of the time pressure and the considerable challenge to implement a ‘good environmental status’ concept for the wide variety of seas around Europe, it is likely that, beside data and information infrastructure, further priority will be given to the GES comitology requirements of the Directive.

16 EMMA present focus Indicators – see next 3 slides
Without prejudice of a recontextualised working environment (see slide 15), these are focus elements of EMMA that will continue to be relevant under MSFD implementation: Indicators – see next 3 slides Data and information infrastructure - WISE-Marine – concept paper published as basis for a consultation until 31 July 2008 Exchange of ongoing monitoring and assessment developments between regions Tapping into useful research projects

17 EMMA Workshops & Plenary 2006-2007
Aim: To foster networking towards streamlined monitoring and data collection Indicator convergence process Operational oceanography: October 2006 (to increase dialogue between “users” and “producers” of operational oceanography products) Ecological processes/biological elements: November 2006 (we have great “needs”, what can we use already?) Chemical loads and burdens: April 2007 (we have been doing this for some time now, how to take it a step further?) Plenary meeting: May 2007 (review of draft conclusions, arrangements for further indicator analysis towards ‘converging’ pan-European indicators)

18 EMMA principal conclusions on indicators
Indicator convergence process ‘Commonalities’  What is common at the pan-European level when matching existing regional and EEA indicators to the 44 MSFD determinands for ‘Initial Assessment‘ (Annex III)? = 23 determinads Further indicator comparison required  To confirm the ‘real’ commonalities and establish possible harmonisation where needed Conditions  EEA resources and support and others. Phase 1 ( ): Priority 1 issues / Phase 2 (later): Priority 2 issues ‘Gaps’  At the pan-European level between existing indicators and MSFD determinands for ‘Initial Assessment‘ = 21 determinands. No immediate action on these is suggested at the moment 2 + 4 = Establishing a minimum, common pan-European set of indicators for the marine environment

19 Further EMMA indicator work (1/2)
Indicator comparison Priority 1.1: ’Temperature’; ‘Chlorophyll-a’; ‘Fish abundance’, ‘Nutrient concentrations; ‘Hazardous substances in biota’; ‘Oil slicks’; ‘Inputs of nutrients’ (riverine and direct discharges); and ‘Atmospheric deposition’ of non-toxic contaminants’. Priority 1.2: For other ‘Physical and chemical’ determinands‘ (e.g. ‘Currents’; ‘Water exchange’; ‘Salinity’ and ‘Bathymetry’ as well as ‘Water transparency’) it is suggested that, rather than to carry out the same type of ‘detailed technical comparison’ as in the case of other determinands, to follow the recommendations from the “Operational oceanography” workshop. This is to be done in close cooperation with the regional sea conventions. Further, to ensure compatibility between the pan-European and the regional products by building demonstration products into the GMES Marine Core Service and downstream service chains and validate their performance (…). Priority 2: ‘Phytoplankton communities’; ‘Species composition’ of benthic invertebrate fauna; ‘Non-indigenous species’; ‘Oxygen concentrations’; ‘Hazardous substances in sediments’; Chemical pollution ‘hot spots’; Inputs of ‘Organic compounds’, ’Metals’ and ‘Oil & PAHs’; and ‘Nutrient source apportionment’.

20 Further EMMA indicator work (2/2)
Indicator comparison Priority 1.1 Some delay because strengthening of EEA indicators (all of which have been put forward as a contribution to the EMMA convergence process) was deemed more prioritary  Draft Indicator Scoping Report Some re-prioritisation as - in the meantime - some indicators can be produced at the pan-European level from inception (i.e. no need for comparison process), using e.g. operational oceanography products (e.g. sea surface temperature) Priority 1.1 from 8 MSFD determinands to 4 Work ongoing should be completed by end 2008 More information? DG Environment site documents on marine strategy CIRCA site for EMMA as part of Marine Strategy CIRCA site Maritime Policy Targeted questions to author (for everything) (for final slides on EMMA)

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