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Synergies and Differences between Biodiversity, Nature, Water and Marine Environment EU Policies

Synergies and Differences between Biodiversity, Nature, Water and Marine Environment EU Policies

Aquacross Deliverable 2.1

The AQUACROSS consortium published a report on EU environmental policy synergies. Authors of the report, including Ecologic Institute, analyse these EU policies, specifically aiming to determine: How EU policies and laws contribute to and/or hinder the achievement of EU and international biodiversity targets; and the coherence and/or incoherence of current environmental protection policies affecting the management of aquatic ecosystems. The report is available for download.

Despite multiple EU policies to safeguard aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity – including the Birds and Habitats Directives, the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 – the EU has been unable to halt and reverse the trend of declining biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. AQUACROSS has published a new report on EU environmental policy synergies.

This report, led by Ecologic Institute, investigates these EU policies, specifically aiming to determine:

  • How EU policies and laws contribute to and/or hinder the achievement of EU and international biodiversity targets.
  • The coherence and/or incoherence of current environmental protection policies affecting the management of aquatic ecosystems.

To achieve these aims, AQUACROSS researchers identified key environmental policies protecting biodiversity in freshwater, coastal and marine realms. Second, these environmental policies are reviewed, along with other relevant European policies, to identify how they positively or negatively influence aquatic biodiversity and its protection. This section also features an integrated analysis of six key “threats” to aquatic biodiversity – nitrogen pollution, species extraction, invasive alien species, alterations to morphology, and plastic waste - and the impact of key policies on these threats. Third, the report further reviews key environmental policies protecting aquatic biodiversity in freshwater, coastal, and marine realms to examine the degree to which they can work synergistically or antagonistically to implement ecosystem-based management (EBM).

Overall, the report concludes that, while some progress has been made, Europe is far from achieving its policy objective of healthy aquatic ecosystems. It finds that the achievement of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 targets is not just determined by the key environmental policies – the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive, and Marine Strategy Framework Directive – but also depends on other sectoral and environmental policies that support and compete with biodiversity objectives. To increase policy synergies, the report recommends an integrative approach to managing biodiversity and the mainstreaming of biodiversity protection actions into sectoral policies. Finally, the authors find that EBM can, for the most part, be made operational by implementing the key environmental directives. This, combined with a closer integration of existing policies, should improve aquatic biodiversity protection. The report concludes with recommendations for the integration and application of this knowledge into the AQUACROSS case studies.


Citation

Rouillard, Josselin; Manuel Lago; Katrina Abhold et. al. 2016: Synergies and Differences between Biodiversity, Nature, Water and Marine Environment EU Policies. Aquacross Deliverable 2.1. Ecologic Institute: Berlin.

Language
English
Author(s)
Helen Klimmek (IUCN)
Verena Mattheiß (ACTeon)
Credits

With contributions by:
Carlos M. Gómez, Asya Marhubi, Marta Rodriguez and Gonzalo Delacámara (IMDEA);
Ana Barbosa, Julian Barbière and Juan Arévalo Torres, Joel Kamdoum-Ngueuko, Ksenia
Polotnyanko and Alejandro Iglesias-Campos (IOC-UNESCO)
Anne-Laurence Agenais, Camille Parrod, Alexandra Rossi (ACTeon)
Jenny Tröltzsch, Ennid Roberts, Ana Frelih-Larsen, Ina Krüger, Ruta Landgrebe and Ben Boteler (Ecologic Institute)
Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber and Florian Pletterbauer (BOKU); Marieken van der Sluis (IMARES, WUR)
Fátima Lopes Alves and Ana Isabel Lillebø (Universidade de Aveiro)

With thanks to:
Stefanie Schmidt (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS)) and Eleftheria Kampa (Ecologic Institute)

Funding
Year
2016
Dimension
532 pp.
Project ID
2803
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 The AQUACROSS project
1.2 Policy orientation in AQUACROSS
1.3 Objectives of the report
1.4 Content and structure of the report
2 Setting the Scene for the Analysis
2.1 Key EU policies for the protection of aquatic biodiversity
2.2 A complex policy landscape
2.2.1 EU policies and global goals
2.2.2 A brief overview of EU policies relevant for the protection of aquatic biodiversity
2.2.3 Integration and coordination between EU policies: state of knowledge
2.3 Conclusion: scope of the AQUACROSS policy review
3 EU Environmental Targets and the Status of European Waters
3.1 Relevant policy objectives
3.2 Review of status assessment reports
3.2.1 Habitats and Birds Directives
3.2.2 Water Framework Directive
3.2.3 Marine Strategy Framework Directive
3.3 Conclusions
4 Integrated Assessment of EU Policies for the Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity
4.1 Objective of the chapter
4.2 Methodology
4.3 What is threatening aquatic biodiversity in Europe?
4.3.1 Introducing the threats and their effects on aquatic biodiversity
4.3.2 Trends in the impacts of threats on aquatic biodiversity
4.4 What are the key human activities leading to loss of aquatic biodiversity?
4.4.1 What is driving biodiversity loss in Europe?
4.4.2 Economic outlook
4.5 What EU policies govern the management of aquatic biodiversity?
4.6 Policies contributing to reducing the loss of aquatic biodiversity
4.6.1 Key cross-cutting policies
4.6.2 An overview of policies contributing to reducing the loss of aquatic biodiversity for each threat
4.6.3 Mapping relevant policies against the DPS
4.7 Policies contributing to intensifying loss of aquatic biodiversity
4.7.1 Overview per threat
4.7.2 Insights into EU funding instruments
4.8 Conclusions
5 Synergies and Barriers between Key Environmental Policies for the Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity
5.1 Methodology
5.2 Mapping key policies against ecosystem-based management principles
5.2.1 Habitats and Birds Directives
5.2.2 Water Framework Directive
5.2.3 Marine Strategy Framework Directive
5.3 Discussion
5.4 Conclusions
6 Key Conclusions and Recommendations for AQUACROSS
6.1 Key conclusions
6.2 Recommendations for AQUACROSS research
7 A Framework for the Analysis of EBM Implementation and the Coordinated Implementation of Policies in AQUACROSS Case Studies
7.1 Objectives
7.2 Background
7.3 Integrative policy analysis in the case studies: How?
7.4 Mapping EBM relevant policy principles with identified policy actions at the local level
7.5 Next steps
8 References

Keywords
freshwater, coastal, marine, ecosystems, resilience, EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, nature conservation aquatic biodiversity, ecosystem-based management, Europe, H2020, assessment framework, policy targets, sustainability, Europe, ecosystem services assessment, forecasting, economic valuation, participatory scenarios, risk assessment, case studies