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Calado H.,University of The Azores | Bentz J.,University of The Azores | Ng K.,University of The Azores | Zivian A.,Ocean Conservancy | And 4 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are playing important roles in environmental conservation and management. Some are actively involved in the development and implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP), especially in Europe where this has been embodied within a European Directive. MSP is being used by many countries to sustainably manage coastal and marine areas, and reduce conflicts. However, recommendations regarding specific NGO roles within the MSP process are lacking. Consequently, to fill this gap and discuss a way forward, a session at the 5th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (GOF5) brought together MSP experts and NGO representatives. This paper reports the conclusions of these discussions and presents a summary guideline document for efficient and effective NGO MSP engagement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Calado H.,University of The Azores | Ng K.,University of The Azores | Johnson D.,OSPAR Commission | Sousa L.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2010

This paper presents and discusses legal, methodological and political frameworks for the development of the proposed Portuguese Marine Spatial Plan initiated in 2008. It considers lessons learned and is informed by discussions that have taken place since publication of the 'Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving Common Principles in the EU'. New goals are based on horizontal planning tools that cut across sea-related sectoral policies and support joined up policy making. It is in this context that Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) emerged as an essential process for sustainable decision making. The OSPAR Commission undertook an overview of national planning systems within its administrative boundaries, which confirmed spatial plans reduced conflicts. However, problems exist accessing good quality data and dealing with entrenched sectoral views. Furthermore, the transboundary nature of marine resources requires cooperation between neighbouring states. In 2006, Portugal developed a 'National Sea Strategy' that recognized the importance of developing its maritime space while valuing marine habitats and biodiversity. MSP development of the Portuguese sea commenced in 2008 and findings are now evaluated. They showed adaptation of existing tools to be possible and desirable, provided undertaken cautiously and found conceptual ambiguities were barriers to conflict resolution. Furthermore they showed management strategies should be designed and analysed on a case by case basis, recognising temporal and spatial variations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Ullah Z.,Southampton Solent University | Johnson D.,OSPAR Commission | Micallef A.,University of Malta | Williams A.T.,University of Swansea
Journal of Coastal Conservation | Year: 2010

Originally developed within the Mediterranean, a tested coastal management and planning tool was applied outside the region to evaluate its international scope, with particular reference to a less developed country. Seven coastal sites in Pakistan were investigated for their scenic values through a 26 item checklist grouped as physical and human parameters analysed though weighted parameters and fuzzy logic matrices. With respect to a five-class evaluation system, results indicated: Jiwani, Miani Hor and Pasni-Astola Island as extremely attractive natural sites with very high landscape value (classified as Class 1 sites); Mubarak village as an attractive natural site with high landscape value (classified as a Class 2 site); Kaka pir village, Harjana village and Keti Bandar as having little outstanding landscape features or with urban environment and classified as Class 3 sites. Rural and/ or urban environmental influences were observed to be critical factors which influenced major human parameters that ultimately affect sites' scenic classification. However, not- withstanding natural attraction, unless political and social development barriers are tackled in conjunction with recognising areas that possess inherent tourism potential, economic potential is unlikely to be realised. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.


Pike K.,Southampton Solent University | Johnson D.,OSPAR Commission | Fletcher S.,Bournemouth University | Wright P.,Southampton Solent University
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2011

Social value is understood by individuals but is itself a contested concept, although community and participation are key associated terms. Arguably social value of protected areas can be viewed as primarily recreational and aesthetic. Perhaps as a result, social value is often much less considered when compared to environmental and economic aspects when planning the establishment and management of protected areas in coastal locations. Understanding how society values these areas could therefore make a significant difference to optimising management direction and outcomes. Furthermore, understanding non-monetary values could help evaluate trade-offs which can be made between scenarios such as alternative development, management and conservation. Literature on social value touches on many topics including the emotional appreciation of wilderness and theory of visitor management. Ironically, in the future, climate change may raise social value at the coast given a public fascination with dramatic storms and sensational rapid change as a result of coastal processes. In order to identify social value, evaluate how it has been applied, and suggest better future integration, research focussing on selected coastal protected areas in England and Wales has taken an inductive grounded theory approach. A combination of practitioner and public interviews were undertaken to inform the design of a normative statement and model of social value. To understand social values at an operational level a detailed 'zoning chart' exercise in conjunction with an expert scoring system was applied to four case studies This work has resulted in validating social value criteria and has highlighted the complexities of measuring social value, particularly using a scoring system to rate the criteria. Tranquillity, for example, is typically subjective. Zoning charts proved to be a productive data collection tool, allowing visualisation of the criteria. All the data collection phases demonstrated that criteria in the 'spirituality and natural environment' theme provided the most social value to the public. Criteria in this theme include areas where it is possible to get away from other people in order to experience tranquillity, isolation and remoteness: experiences of views and open coastline: inspirational opportunities for art, poetry and photography: and an outdoor experience in a place where people want to be. © 2011 Coastal Education & Research Foundation.


O'Leary B.C.,University of York | Brown R.L.,University of York | Johnson D.E.,OSPAR Commission | Von Nordheim H.,German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN | And 4 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being established to protect and rebuild coastal and marine ecosystems. However, while the high seas are increasingly subject to exploitation, globally few MPAs exist in areas beyond national jurisdiction. In 2010 a substantial step forward was made in the protection of high seas ecosystems with 286,200km 2 of the North-East Atlantic established as six MPAs. Here a summary is presented of how the world's first network of high seas marine protected areas was created under the OSPAR Convention, the main challenges and a series of key lessons learned, aiming to highlight approaches that also may be effective for similar efforts in the future. It is concluded that the designation of these six MPAs is just the start of the process and to achieve ecological coherence and representativity in the North-East Atlantic, the network will have to be complemented over time by additional MPA sites. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Johnson D.,OSPAR Commission
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security | Year: 2013

The OSPAR Commission implements the regional seas convention for the North-East Atlantic and has been at the forefront of delivering the ecosystem approach through the development of robust measures to deal with marine pollution. For purposes of assessment the OSPAR Maritime Area is divided into five Regions, Region I representing 'Arctic Waters.' OSPAR Region I includes the transition between the Boreal and true Arctic biogeographic zones, incorporates the presence of the North Atlantic Current as well as the northward flowing Norwegian Coastal Current, and is characterised by seasonally high primary productivity and high natural variability. The starting point for a 'collaborative arrangement' between relevant competent authorities, with the aim of ensuring a highest level of conservation of selected areas in the North-East Atlantic beyond national jurisdiction, was explored at an informal Workshop in Madeira in March 2010. The Ministerial Meeting of OSPAR, held in Bergen in September 2010, agreed unprecedented protection of six extensive marine protected areas (MPAs) in Region V, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and isolated seamounts. Whilst being required to protect biodiversity, OSPAR does not have competence for those activities that are arguably the most likely to have the most impact in these remote areas, namely fisheries, international shipping and seabed mining. Most multilateral environmental agreements have adopted key principles that enshrine sustainable development and governance ideals. Regimes of this sort, designed to limit pressures and impacts of human activities, have elements in common with built in checks and balances designed to govern exploitation. By focussing on a defined geographic area and recognising the value of its natural capital, it has proven possible to scope complementary and mutually reinforcing management measures. OSPAR, the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) [18] and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) have started to consider this in respect of one MPA - the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone. The intention is to broaden the discussion to include other competent authorities. A combined regime of this nature demands transparency and trust between competent authorities. It becomes incumbent on States in agreement within one competent authority to influence and work within other competent authorities. It also requires that States reach a common position internally between those dealing with different sectors within their administrations. Given that such a solution is unprecedented, there is merit in establishing a pilot case to focus the best scientific and legal minds. Ultimately, however, such a solution becomes a matter of political will and decision.


More than 250 European researchers have collaborated in developing new tools to understand marine biodiversity and assess the environmental status of our oceans, within the project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status). This project, supported by the European Commission, ends today after four years of activity and a budget of 12 M €, from which 9 have been funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU. The research has resulted in innovative tools, developed and validated, which relate theoretical and applied ecology in an integrative way (including remote sensing, models and genomics), in order to advance in the knowledge of the changes produced in marine ecosystems and biodiversity. The team of researchers, coordinated by Angel Borja, PhD in Biology, from AZTI (Spain), has proposed an operational definition of good environmental status and has completed new models relating human activities, pressures, changes in the state, impacts on human welfare and management responses. This includes indicators to assess biodiversity in a harmonized way in the four European regional seas (Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea). During this period, the team has analysed the current monitoring network in Europe and has developed free software (DEVOTool), which includes more than 600 indicators used in the EU for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Moreover, DEVOTES has developed and validated 29 indicators, from which 16 are new and 13 have been refined, including all ecosystem components and the biological descriptors of the MSFD. The assessment has been undertaken using descriptors such as alteration of biodiversity, introduction of non-indigenous species, commercial fish, alteration of food-webs, eutrophication and sea-floor integrity. Moreover, the main human activities at sea have been studied, together with the socio-economic factors driving those activities. The research has included also the development of new monitoring methods (e.g. biosensors of early warning pollution, microarrays to detect Harmful Algae Blooms), metabarcoding of many species of microbes, plankton, meio- and macrofauna (available now in GenBank). Among the undertaken tasks the project has developed new monitoring tools using remote sensing, acoustic and genomics, and has proposed new ways to integrate the information provided by them to assess the environmental status of European seas. Among the developed tools, we can highlight a new free software, named NEAT (Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool), allowing to assess the health status of marine systems. It has been validated in 10 locations all around Europe. NEAT includes the previous tool DEVOTool, which includes more than 600 indicators used by member states and regional seas conventions. Moreover, through regular updates, and attending the users' needs, this software includes new applications, allowing the biodiversity assessment on line. In addition to the above results, DEVOTES has published 165 scientific papers, a free downloadable book, 10 scientific sessions have been organized, 21 post-graduate courses, 4 summer schools, near 400 contributions to international conferences and 15 PhD students have been trained. Angel Borja, the coordinator of the project said "Complex, holistic assessments of environmental status are now possible. Devotes has developed an integrated, nested Environmental status assessment tool (NEAT) which makes such assessment easier". Irina Makarenko, from the Black Sea Commission, said "The NEAT tool has been tested in at 10 sites in 4 regional seas and demonstrated to all the regional seas". Emily Corcoran from the North Atlantic OSPAR Commission said "We are studying how we can use the NEAT tool in our assessments". Sigi Gruber, head of Marine Resources, from the Directorate General of Research and Innovation, said "DEVOTES is one of 9 EU projects funded to provide state of the art, best available knowledge and the scientific basis for the implementation of the MSFD". Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, from the Finish Environmental Agency, said: "Economy and ecology can work hand in hand. In these difficult financial times, DEVOTES has developed cost-effective indicators and tools for fit-for purpose marine monitoring and assessment. The NEAT tool is freely available and has been demonstrated to many member States". Matjaz Malgaj, Head of Unit for Marine Environment and Water Industry at the European Commission said "The scientists have provided the competent authorities of the member states and regional seas commissions with the tool that fulfils their requirements". Finally, Ana-Teresa Caetano, from the Directorate General of Research and Innovation, said "The DEVOTES project has made all its data, findings and developments public, including the 165 scientific papers that were published. This is exceptional."


This project, supported by the European Commission, ends today after four years of activity and a budget of 12 M €, from which 9 have been funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU. The research has resulted in innovative tools, developed and validated, which relate theoretical and applied ecology in an integrative way (including remote sensing, models and genomics), in order to advance in the knowledge of the changes produced in marine ecosystems and biodiversity. The team of researchers, coordinated by Angel Borja, PhD in Biology, from AZTI (Spain), has proposed an operational definition of good environmental status and has completed new models relating human activities, pressures, changes in the state, impacts on human welfare and management responses. This includes indicators to assess biodiversity in a harmonized way in the four European regional seas (Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea). During this period, the team has analysed the current monitoring network in Europe and has developed free software (DEVOTool), which includes more than 600 indicators used in the EU for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Moreover, DEVOTES has developed and validated 29 indicators, from which 16 are new and 13 have been refined, including all ecosystem components and the biological descriptors of the MSFD. The assessment has been undertaken using descriptors such as alteration of biodiversity, introduction of non-indigenous species, commercial fish, alteration of food-webs, eutrophication and sea-floor integrity. Moreover, the main human activities at sea have been studied, together with the socio-economic factors driving those activities. The research has included also the development of new monitoring methods (e.g. biosensors of early warning pollution, microarrays to detect Harmful Algae Blooms), metabarcoding of many species of microbes, plankton, meio- and macrofauna (available now in GenBank). Among the undertaken tasks the project has developed new monitoring tools using remote sensing, acoustic and genomics, and has proposed new ways to integrate the information provided by them to assess the environmental status of European seas. Among the developed tools, we can highlight a new free software, named NEAT (Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool), allowing to assess the health status of marine systems. It has been validated in 10 locations all around Europe. NEAT includes the previous tool DEVOTool, which includes more than 600 indicators used by member states and regional seas conventions. Moreover, through regular updates, and attending the users' needs, this software includes new applications, allowing the biodiversity assessment on line. In addition to the above results, DEVOTES has published 165 scientific papers, a free downloadable book, 10 scientific sessions have been organized, 21 post-graduate courses, 4 summer schools, near 400 contributions to international conferences and 15 PhD students have been trained. Angel Borja, the coordinator of the project said "Complex, holistic assessments of environmental status are now possible. Devotes has developed an integrated, nested Environmental status assessment tool (NEAT) which makes such assessment easier". Irina Makarenko, from the Black Sea Commission, said "The NEAT tool has been tested in at 10 sites in 4 regional seas and demonstrated to all the regional seas". Emily Corcoran from the North Atlantic OSPAR Commission said "We are studying how we can use the NEAT tool in our assessments". Sigi Gruber, head of Marine Resources, from the Directorate General of Research and Innovation, said "DEVOTES is one of 9 EU projects funded to provide state of the art, best available knowledge and the scientific basis for the implementation of the MSFD". Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, from the Finish Environmental Agency, said: "Economy and ecology can work hand in hand. In these difficult financial times, DEVOTES has developed cost-effective indicators and tools for fit-for purpose marine monitoring and assessment. The NEAT tool is freely available and has been demonstrated to many member States". Matjaz Malgaj, Head of Unit for Marine Environment and Water Industry at the European Commission said "The scientists have provided the competent authorities of the member states and regional seas commissions with the tool that fulfils their requirements". Finally, Ana-Teresa Caetano, from the Directorate General of Research and Innovation, said "The DEVOTES project has made all its data, findings and developments public, including the 165 scientific papers that were published. This is exceptional." Explore further: New software to assess the environmental status of marine ecosystems More information: DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status. www.devotes-project.eu/


News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: www.treehugger.com

We know that the melting of Arctic sea ice is accelerating, and that's it's probably going to get worse before it will get better. But it's possible to change trajectory, if millions of "us" get passionate enough about preserving what is left, and sometimes, what speaks to that passionate part of us is not statistics, but music. Perhaps that's why this video of renowned Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi playing a heartfelt musical piece in the Arctic is so effective: it sends a message straight past the rational brain and right to heart, where it matters (because if you don't care about something, you can't save it). Watch this Elegy for the Arctic, which Einaudi composed and performed specifically for this short film: This moving performance was done to raise awareness about this week's OSPAR Commission gathering in Tenerife, Spain, where international delegates are meeting to decide on a proposal to safeguard 10 percent (226,150 square kilometers) of the Arctic. It may seem like the common sense thing to do, but according to Greenpeace, Denmark, Iceland and Norway are three countries that are attempting to block this proposal to protect this "new ocean" that is opening up due to climate change, the "least protected sea in the world", even though the proposed area would be in international waters. The aim is to now get enough people to notice, to care and to act to protect the Arctic from unsustainable practices like oil drilling and industrial fishing, says Einaudi: I could see the purity and fragility of this area with my own eyes and interpret a song I wrote to be played upon the best stage in the world. It is important that we understand the importance of the Arctic, stop the process of destruction and protect it. We are all affected by these huge changes that are happening in far-off places all over the globe. The aim of the Save The Arctic campaign is to create a protected Arctic Sanctuary; you can sign the petition here and read more over at Greenpeace.

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