Talk:European Coastal Action Plan, 2008

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Review by Job Dronkers (January 2013)

The European Action Plan for Strengthening the Knowledge Base of Sustainable Coastal and Marine Management calls for a concerted European research effort focusing on the 4 broad topics identified at the Paris Conference of 2007. Similar recommendations - in more general terms - have been formulated by other international marine fora, the Ostend Declaration (2010) and the Limassol Declaration for an EU-integrated Maritime Policy (2012).

The European Commission has since taken several initiatives that contribute to the realization of the European Coastal Action Plan. The following initiatives are particularly relevant:

  • The recommendation for the concerted development of a European network of Coastal and Marine Observatories was implemented by the European Commission in 2011 through the project JERICO: Joint European Research Infrastructure for Coastal Observatories, led by Ifremer (France), see European coastal and marine observatories (2020). The third phase of JERICO, JERICO-S3 has been approved by the European Commission with a budget of 10 million EUR for the period 2020-2024.
  • The Copernicus programme (formerly Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GEMS) programme), that supports the development of marine services by delivering information on the state and dynamics of the ocean and coastal zones. Based on in-situ and satellite monitoring and modelling, Copernicus contributes to protection and management of the marine environment and resources, to the monitoring of pollution such as oil spills and to the improvement of marine safety. Information is delivered on sea level, ocean colour, sea-surface temperature, salinity, sea state and wind, sea ice and ship detection. The information provided by the Copernicus services can be used freely by end users for a wide range of applications in a variety of areas. These include urban area management, sustainable development and nature protection, regional and local planning, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, health, civil protection, infrastructure, transport and mobility, as well as tourism.
  • The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive adopted in 2008. The Directive obliges member states to implement a harmonised monitoring strategy for the European sea basins by 2014. The monitoring programmes address descriptors for biodiversity, non-indigenous species, the population of commercial fish species, key food webs, eutrophication, sea floor integrity, hydrographical conditions, contaminants, marine litter and underwater noise.
  • The Marine Knowledge 2020 strategy. Marine Knowledge 2020 aims to bring together marine data from different sources in the member states and to make these data available for every public or private user. This activity is undertaken in the EMODnet project, where European data distribution systems are built for parameters characterising the biological, hydrographical (including bathymetry), physical, chemical, geological and habitat state of all the European seas.
  • The European Research Strategy Horizon 2020, the follow-up of FP7. It provides financial support to basic research, based on criteria of scientific excellence, and applied research, basic on criteria of innovation and societal outcome (economic growth, health, environment). In the last category, marine and maritime research are among the focus areas. Another major objective of Horizon 2020 is the pooling of national research resources of the member states. The Joint Programming Initiative for integration of national research programmes has succeeded the ERA-NET scheme of FP7 for co-funding of joint calls for proposals. For the integration of marine and maritime research programmes, the JPI Oceans initiative was launched in 2010. The follow-up programme of Horizon 2020, called Horizon Europe, will be launched in 2021, with a budget of around €100 billion.