ETC/ICM Report 2/2017: Assessing Europe's Marine Protected Area networks - Proposed methodologies and scenarios

30 Aug 2017

Nils Hettich

‘Ecological coherence’ is a term increasingly used to describe the ultimate goal in the design, establishment and assessment of marine protected area (MPA) networks. There are several EU-level policy drivers that call for the establishment of an ecologically coherent network of MPAs across Europe’s seas – most notably Article 13.4 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. By drawing on existing approaches put forward by the Regional Sea Conventions of relevance to European seas, this report presents a proposed methodological framework for the assessment of MPA networks in a European context to help inform the role that MPAs (and MPA networks) play in the delivery of EU-level reporting requirements. 

The proposed framework is based on the evaluation of different network evaluation principles (representativity, replication, connectivity, adequacy and management) which are developed in a ‘three-tiered’ approach leading to: a single evaluation output, a scenario assessment based on more than one target measurement, and case studies highlighting aspects that need to be addressed in order to improve the proposed methodology. 

Prepared by:

EEA member: Johnny Reker

ETC/ICM members: Sabrina Agnesi, Aldo Annunziatellis, Giulia Mo, Leonardo Tunesi (ISPRA), Peter Chaniotis (JNCC), Samuli Korpinen (SYKE), Lidija Globevnik, Luka Snoj ( TC Vode), editor: Anita Künitzer (UFZ)

Published by: ETC/ICM, August 2017, 72 pp.