KnowSeas (Knowledge-based Sustainable Management for Europe's Seas)
What is Knowseas?
KnowSeas is a large-scale integrating European Union Framework7 collaborative project with 30 partners from 15 countries, coordinated by the Scottish Association for Marine Science, a Natural Environment Research Council collaborative centre.
See story on LWEC website.
Europe’s regional seas have suffered severe environmental degradation. This damage not only affects the organisms living in the marine environment but also has impacts on the welfare of the human communities which are reliant on them.
The ecosystem approach to management involves considering both social systems and the surrounding environment together, as parts of a whole. This is now being adopted by the European Union as an effective a way of sustainably managing our seas to optimize both ecological and social well being.
But the science base for this approach needs strengthening and practical tools must be developed and tested for policy implementation.
What will KnowSeas do?
The overall objective of the project is to produce a comprehensive scientific knowledge base and practical guidance for the application of the ecosystem approach to the sustainable development of Europe’s regional seas.
This will increase the evidence base available for decision makers.
The consortium will
- strengthen the science base for managing Europe’s seas through the practical application of systems thinking
- examine and model economic and social impacts of changes to ecosystem goods and services and costs and benefits of various management options
- determine conflicts of interest and examine governance as well as stakeholder values and perceptions
- develop and test an assessment toolbox for each regional sea, including regional management authorities, such as the Scottish Government, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, non-governmental organisations and stakeholder groups such as fisheries representative organisations and offshore renewables groups.
- A workable interpretation and understanding of the ecosystem approach for Europe as mandated by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
- Assessment of the causes and consequences of ecosystem change in each of Europe’s regional seas will be delivered using a combination of advanced ecological modelling approaches.
- An economic analysis of goods and services provided by Europe’s regional seas, including both the market and non-marketed benefits derived. This analysis will also be supported by practical guideline on economic analysis for those with non economic backgrounds.
- An analysis of social and governance structures and their interactions with the ecosystem approach, to facilitate adaptive management.
- An ecosystem based management system which will provide guidelines and a suite of tools for the practice of ecosystem based management. These tools include the DEcision MAking (DEMA); COnflict REsolution (CORE) and Enhancing Stakeholder CApacity (ECSA) tools. The Decision Space Analysis tools will also identify how governance can effectively address issues of spatial and temporal scale mismatches in management of the marine environment.
- Development options for two case studies: a) trade-offs between deepwater trawling and the cold water coral Lophelia in the North East Atlantic waters of the UK and b) the ecological benefits from offshore wind farms in the North Sea.
What tools are available?
The KnowSeas consortium will strengthen the science base for managing Europe’s seas through a number of specific tasks and deliverables which will be of immediate practical use to stakeholders, national governments and local decision makers.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and end dates: 01/04/2009 to 31/03/2013
Scottish Association for Marine Science
Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
plus a number of international partners