The European Environment Agency's European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters (ETC-ICM) aims to support the assessment, development, and implementation of EU policies through data analysis, data monitoring, and scientific knowledge sharing. Ecologic Institute, working in a consortium, focuses on economic and socio-economic topics related to environmental changes in European waters.
Ecologic Institute also provides expert advice on water issues related to EU measures such as the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as the Common Agricultural Policy and Integrated Maritime Policy.
European Topic Centres are important instruments of the EEA to monitor the environment in the EEA member countries and analyse the current as well as the future state of the environment. The ETC-ICM was created in 2011 and consists of 18 partner institutes. It is the successor of the ETC on Water which ran from 2004 to 2010.
The Topic Centre on inland, coastal and marine waters works in five major areas:
- monitoring water resources and collecting data on water quality and quantity, as well as biological and hydro-morphological elements and pressures, covering all areas of groundwater, surface, transitional, coastal and marine waters according to needs at the European level;
- developing indicators to aid in the assessment of the environment to support policy processes in the inland, coastal marine and freshwater areas;
- contributing to the development and implementation of EU policies, in particular the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD);
- contributing to the EEA assessment reports;
- capacity building in EEA member countries.
Ecologic Institute’s work on freshwater issues focuses on assessing the recently published Member State’s River Basin Management Plans, analysing the interaction between water management and climate change mitigation options and also assessing the hydro morphological pressures in Europe. In addition, Ecologic Institute supports the EEA to incorporate economic components in the water resource efficiency indicators being developed by ETC-ICM.
In regard to maritime issues, Ecologic Institute is developing socio-economic indicators for several sectors of the maritime economy such as coastal tourism, fisheries, maritime shipping, offshore energy generation and ports. They also aid the EEA in regard to socio-economic issues for their 2012 Coastal Assessment, analysing the main socio-economic drivers of coastal environment change, the environmental implications of coastal tourism, the socio-economic importance of the fishing industry, and key economic trends in maritime transport.
Ecologic Institute also provides support on economic and marine issues of the EEA Eureca project which aims to integrate the concept of ecosystem based management into the management of natural resources. Furthermore Ecologic Institute supports the EEA with economic issues associated with the development of the Fast Track Ecosystem accounts for surface inland, coastal and marine waters.