Title: Marine Management - Towards an Integrated Implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework and the Water Framework Directives
Citation: MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN vol. 60 no. 12 p. 2175-2186
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC60639
ISSN: 0025-326X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC60639
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.09.026
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Through implementing environmental Directives, Europe has moved towards coordinated and integrated catchment-to-coast management, following the most novel legislation on ecosystem-based approaches worldwide. This novel joint synthesis of this direction allows us to regard the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as a ¿deconstructing structural approach¿ whereas the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is a ¿holistic functional approach¿, i.e. the WFD has split the ecosystem into several biological quality elements, then it compares the structure of these (such as species complement) individually before combining them and attempting to determine the overall condition. In contrast the MSFD concentrates on the set of 11 descriptors which together summarize the way in which the whole system functions. In addition, the WFD implementation has been left to the Member States, and hence we then need a detailed intercalibration exercise to compare the outputs. In contrast, MSFD is a more top-down approach in which the European Commission has created a task group approach for a cross-Europe agreement before implementation. We emphasize that both Directives are frameworks on which many other directives are linked but that they need to be fully and seamlessly integrated to give a land to open sea system of assessment and management. Hence, by taking account of the experience gained in the WFD implementation, together with that from regional sea conventions, such as OSPAR (North East Atlantic) or HELCOM (Baltic Sea), we propose in this contribution an integrative approach for the environmental status assessment, within the MSFD.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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