- Geographical scale of the assessment:
- Regional, Mediterranean Sea
- Contributing countries:
- Mediterranean assessment based on research and publications
- Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) Core Theme:
- 3-Land and Sea Interaction and Processes
- Ecological Objective:
- Ecological Objective 7(EO7): Alteration of hydrographical conditions
- IMAP Common Indicator:
- Common Indicator 15 (CI15): Location and extent of the habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations
- Indicator Assessment Factsheet Code:
GES Definition: Negative impacts due to new structure are minimal with no influence on the larger scale coastal and marine system.
- Pressure: Planning of new structures takes into account all possible mitigation measures in order to minimize the impact on coastal and marine ecosystem and its services integrity and cultural/historic assets. Where possible, promote ecosystem health.
Large-scale coastal and off-shore developments have the potential to alter the hydrographical regime of currents, waves and sediments in marine environment (UNEP/MAP/PAP, 2015). To address this, UN Environment/MAP has included the Ecological Objective 7 (“Alteration of hydrographical conditions”) as part of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast (UNEP/MAP, 2016a). EO7’s Common Indicator 15 - 'Location and extent of habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations’ considers marine habitats which may be affected or disturbed by changes in hydrographic conditions due to new developments. The main target of this indicator is to ensure that all possible mitigation measures are taken into account when planning the construction of new structures, in order to minimize the impact on coastal and marine ecosystem and its services, integrity, and cultural/historic assets. The Good Environmental State (GES) regarding EO7 Hydrography is achieved when negative impacts due to new structures are minimal with no influence on the larger scale coastal and marine systems.
The methodology for assessment of this indicator is described in detail in Indicator Guidance Fact Sheet on Common Indicator 15.
In brief, the methodology to assess the indicator can be divided in three main steps:
- Baseline hydrographical conditions characterisation (Monitoring and modelling of actual conditions without structure);
- Assessment of hydrographical alterations induced by new structure (comparing baseline conditions and with structure conditions, using modelling tools); and
- Assessment of habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations (by crossing hydrographical alterations and habitat maps).
Results and Status, including trends
A brief overview of initial assessments of the current environmental status of marine waters belonging to Mediterranean-based EU countries is summarized. It needs to be highlighted that the information presented here is extracted from the technical assessment of the European Commission of submissions on Descriptor 7 by the EU countries. This information is up to 2012 and is not fully in line with the Indicator Guidance Fact Sheet for the CI15.
Nearly all of the EU Member States focused on coastal zones in their report, with most Member States (e.g. France, Greece, Italy Spain) expressed the readiness to address the existing knowledge gaps.
The EO7 Common Indicator 15 reflects location and extent of the habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations due to new developments. The major challenge on deriving concluding remarks for this indicator at the regional level is that the national monitoring programmes are currently being developed for most Mediterranean countries. Therefore, assessment results on this indicator (as proposed in indicator guidance fact sheet) were not available at the national, nor regional level.
- The EO7 Common Indicator 15 considers marine habitats which may be affected or disturbed by changes in hydrographic conditions (currents, waves, suspended sediment loads) due to new developments.
- The national monitoring in Mediterranean countries regarding EO7 has not been initiated yet (except for the Contracting Parties that are EU member states, and their obligation of implementing Descriptor 7 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive), or it is just being initiated.
UNEP/MAP/PAP (1999) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean -
UNEP/MAP/PAP (2008) Protocol on the ICZM in the Mediterranean, Split, Priority Actions Programme, 2008. http://www.pap-thecoastcentre.org/pdfs/Protocol_publikacija_May09.pdf
UNEP/MAP/PAP (2015). Guidance document on how to reflect changes in hydrographical conditions in relevant assessment (prepared by Spiteri, C.). Priority Actions Programme. Split, 2015.
UNEP/MAP (2016a). Decision IG.22/7 - Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and Related Assessment Criteria. COP19, Athens, Greece. United Nations Environment Programme, Mediterranean Action Plan, Athens.
UNEP/MAP (2016b). Draft Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Guidance. UNEP(DEPI)/MED IG.22/Inf.7
UNEP/MAP/PAP (2017). PAP/RAC Meeting of the Ecosystem Approach Correspondence Group on Monitoring (CORMON) on Coast and Hydrography – Working Document. UNEP(DEPI)/MED WG.433/1
Information used in “Key assessment” chapter:
European Commission (2014) Article 12 Technical Assessments of the MSFD 2012 obligations – Mediterranean Sea(together with separate reports for or Cyprus, France , Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Spain
Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries (2014) Skup značajki dobrog stanja okoliša za morske vode pod suverenitetom republike hrvatske i skup ciljeva u zaštiti morskog okoliša i s njima povezanih pokazatelja (in Croatian). Retreived from http://www.mzoip.hr/doc/skup_znacajki_dobrog_stanja_okolisa_za_morske_vode_pod_suverenitetom_republike_hrvatske_i_skup_ciljeva_u_zastiti_morskog_okolisa_i_s_njima_povezanih_pokazatelja.pdf
Interference with Hydrological Processes (2013), Malta. Retreived from http://rod.eionet.europa.eu, on 22 February, 2017