Project overview

The overall goal of DEVOTES is to test indicators proposed by the EC and to develop new ones for the assessment of Good Environmental Status (GES) at the species, habitat and ecosystem level, which will lead to a classification status of marine waters, integrating the indicators into a unified assessment of the biodiversity and the cost-effective implementation of the indicators (i.e. by defining monitoring and assessment strategies).

The objectives are to:

(i) improve our understanding of human activities impacts (cumulative, synergistic, antagonistic) and variations due to climate change on marine biodiversity, using long-term series (pelagic and benthic). This objective will identify the barriers and bottlenecks (socio-economic and legislative) that prevent the GES being achieved

(ii) test the indicators proposed by the EC, and develop new ones for assessment at species, habitats and ecosystems level, for the status classification of marine waters, integrating the indicators into a unified assessment of the biodiversity and the cost-effective implementation of the indicators (i.e. by defining monitoring and assessment strategies). This objective will allow for the adaptive management including (a) strategies & measures, (b) the role of industry and relevant stakeholders (including non-EU countries), and (c) provide an economic assessment of the consequences of the management practices proposed. It will build on the extensive work carried out by the Regional Seas Conventions (RSC) and Water Framework Directive, in which most of the partners have been involved

(iii) develop/test/validate innovative integrative modelling tools to further strengthen our understanding of ecosystem and biodiversity changes (space & time); such tools can be used by statutory bodies, SMEs and marine research institutes to monitor biodiversity, applying both empirical and automatic data acquisition. This objective will demonstrate the utility of innovative monitoring systems capable of efficiently providing data on a range of parameters (including those from non-EU countries), used as indicators of GES, and for the integration of the information into a unique assessment

The consortium has 23 partners, including 4 SMEs (close to 17% of the requested budget) and 2 non-EU partners (Ukraine & Saudi Arabia). Moreover, an Advisory Board (RSC & scientific international scientists) has been designed,to ensure a good relationship with stakeholders