The FP7 research project Policy-Oriented Marine Environmental Research in the Southern European Seas (PERSEUS) supports the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. PERSEUS strengthens the application of the ecosystem-based management approach, which considers both ecological and anthropogenic dynamics within an ecosystem.
Our oceans and seas support a multitude of socio-economic activities and are under substantial environmental pressure. Anthropogenic pressures include increasing human populations, demographic shifts toward coastal areas and their resultant urbanisation, tourism, recreational activities, pollution, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as maritime transport. Pressures on the environment threaten the future use of marine ecosystem goods and services and create a significant challenge for policy makers. The EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) establish an integrated approach to the management and governance of oceans, seas and coasts to strengthen sustainable economic and environmental development. The MSFD sets targets for healthy and sustainable marine and coastal ecosystems based on descriptions of Good Environmental Status (GES) and Member States are required to take steps towards attaining GES.
PERSEUS supports Member States in achieving the goals of the MSFD and focuses on the development of scientific understanding essential for assessing GES in a coherent and integrated manner. Taking into account both natural and socio-economic sciences, PERSEUS assesses the long-term cumulative effects which environmental pressures have on the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In addition, the project establishes an innovative and participatory research governance framework - Adaptive Policy Framework (APF) - to aid policy-makers in addressing marine degradation. The project, led by HCMR, ensures a multi-disciplinary and regionally balanced approach with 55 partners across 22 countries.
Ecologic Institute contributes to multiple work packages and supports tasks related to socio-economic assessments of maritime and coastal activities as well as law, policy and institutional frameworks used within the Southern European Seas. Moreover, Ecologic Institute will bridge the gaps between scientists and policy-makers by working on the APF.