Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Title: Big Insights From a Small Country: The Added Value of Integrated Assessment in the Marine Environmental Status Evaluation of Malta
Authors: Borja, Angel; Menchaca, Iratxe; Garmendia, Joxe Mikel; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana; Sagarminaga, Yolanda; Schembri, Yasmin and Gonzalez, Rocio; Anton, Rocio; Micallef, Tamara; Camilleri, Sarah; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Uyarra, Maria C.
Abstract: In the last few years, the concept of ecosystem-based approach has led to the need for developing integrative assessments that consider the different ecosystem components all together. In Europe, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims at achieving the Good Environmental Status for all regional seas. This requires Member States (MS) to implement monitoring networks and assess the status in 6-years management cycles, based on 11 qualitative descriptors, ranging from biodiversity to noise. For that assessment MS must apply criteria and methodological standards, following certain specifications. However, the number of MS which have undertaken quantitative assessments, or aggregated the different criteria and/or descriptors in holistic assessments, remains low. This is probably due to the few available tools that enable the aggregation of information at different scales (spatial and temporal) and the integration of a diverse range of indicators. In order to identify the main constraints tied to the integration of data from different indicators, criteria and descriptors, this study involved a comparative analysis of a national assessment of official marine data reported by Malta with the integrative Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool (NEAT). In total, we have used 282 indicators, 24 criteria, seven descriptors, and 12 ecosystem components. The results showed a good agreement in the assessment at the indicator level (as applied in the national assessment) and threw light on the advantages of integrating the information at criteria, descriptor or ecosystem component levels, when using NEAT. Such integration allows for a global assessment of status of Malta's marine waters whilst allowing for the identification of management measures at different spatial levels and for different ecosystem components. Lessons learnt from this case study are applicable to remaining assessments for other European MS.
Keywords: marine strategy framework directive; ecosystem-based approach; NEAT; ocean status; integrative assessment; ECOLOGICAL STATUS; FRAMEWORK; ECOSYSTEM; INDICATORS; AGGREGATION; TARGETS; SYSTEMS; WATERS
Issue Date: 2021
Type: Article
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.638232
E-ISSN: 2296-7745
Funder: EUEuropean Commission
European CommissionEuropean CommissionEuropean Commission Joint Research Centre [110661/2018/794286/SUB/ENV.C2]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.