Member states monitoring programmes to achieve the Good Environmental Status of the MFSD

The European Commission has adopted and published its report assessing Member States’ monitoring programmes under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (COM(2017)3) . The report is accompanied by a Staff Working Document (SWD(2017)1) with detailed guidance per Member State.

The Marine Directive aims to achieve Good Environmental Status of the EU’s marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. Seas in Good Environmental Status are clean, healthy and productive. The Directive enshrines in a legislative framework the ecosystem approach to the management of human activities having an impact on the marine environment, integrating the concepts of environmental protection and sustainable use.
According to the Directive, each Member State must implement a marine strategy for its marine waters, in cooperation with other Member States sharing the same marine region, reviewed every 6 years.
Those strategies include 5 steps:

  • an initial assessment of their marine waters,
  • the determination of the good environmental status of their marine waters,
  • the setting of environmental targets,
  • the establishment and implementation of coordinated monitoring programmes,
  • and the identification of measures or actions that need to be taken in order to achieve or maintain good environmental status.

Worth noting is the Marine Strategy Framework Directive accent put on the role and the importance of Marine Protected Areas, as detailed in this short document :Report from the commission to the European parliament and the Council on the progress in establishing marine protected areas

Please also note the publication by the NGO Oceana of a report evaluating these programmes of measures: MSFD Programmes of Measures, An NGO evaluation (November 2016) 

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The article from Medpan

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