Proposal and Recommendations for a Science-Policy interface (SPi) to support MSFd implementation STAGES - Science and Technology Advancing Governance of Good Environmental Status

Type Report
Date 2014-08
Language English
Author(s) Larkin Kate1, Wouters Noémie1, Mc Donough Niall1, Fernandez Marisa2, Diez Raquel2, Carvalho Telmo3, Garriga Maica3, Costa Cristina3, Hoepffner Nicolas4, Le Moigne Morgan5, Lecomte Jean-Paul5, Wawrzynski Wojcieh6, Kellerman Adi6, Murphy David7, Ni Cheallachain Cliona7, Bergh Oivind8, Nedreaas Kjell8
Affiliation(s) 1 : EMB
3 : EurOcean
4 : JRC
5 : Ifremer, France
6 : Ices, Denmark
7 : AquaTT
8 : IMR
Abstract The year 2014 marks the mid-point between the launch of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the goal of Good Environmental Status (GES) in 2020. Although a lot of progress has been made, the current use of Europe’s seas is not sustainable. In its recent publication called ‘Marine Messages’ (EEA, 2014), the European Environment Agency recommended that “urgent action and protection of the seas and ocean should be top of the EU agenda”. In addition, the European Commission Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference declaration1 urged political leaders “…to turn words into action and encourage all stakeholders, including the private sector, to take the measures necessary to deliver “Good Environmental Status” for Europe’s seas and oceans by 2020.” Scientific knowledge is at the heart of successful implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), forming a key component of the wider knowledge-base underpinning decision making. However, whilst there has been a high investment in MSFD-relevant research across Europe and at regional and national levels, there remains a significant deficit in the transfer of the knowledge generated through such research to policy makers and wider stakeholders. There is a need for more effective science-policy interfaces that foster knowledge management and stakeholder interaction to harness, communicate, synthesise and evaluate such knowledge to enhance policy decisions. Whilst many structures and initiatives either directly or indirectly support MSFD implementation through knowledge production, knowledge-use and working at the science-policy interface, the European Commission has identified the need for a strategic long-term Science-Policy Interface (SPI) to support implementation of the MSFD. This was addressed in the context of the EU STAGES project 2 (September 2012 – August 2014) which is assessing and recommending ways to improve the structural aspects of transferring knowledge from science to inform policy and decision making in support of MSFD. The aim of this paper is to present a proposal for an effective MSFD SPI with recommendations for step-wise implementation of a SPI that is fit for purpose and that can support MSFD implementation in the long-term. This takes into account stakeholder views and expectations based on an extensive consultation through online surveys, workshops and informal discussions together with assessment of best practice and input of key recommendations from across the STAGES project outputs. Cross-cutting themes for a science-policy interface to support the MSFD The proposal has been developed in the context of five cross-cutting themes that are considered crucial to strengthen the MSFD SPI into the second MSFD cycle and beyond. These include the need for SPI processes that foster bottom-up (science-driven) and top-down (policy-driven) dialogues, the need for relevant and timely interaction with wider stakeholders, and to take into account the geographical scales and cyclical nature of the MSFD implementation process. A summary of cross-cutting themes together with recommendations are presented in Table 1. Further detail is outlined in Section 3 of this report.
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Larkin Kate, Wouters Noémie, Mc Donough Niall, Fernandez Marisa, Diez Raquel, Carvalho Telmo, Garriga Maica, Costa Cristina, Hoepffner Nicolas, Le Moigne Morgan, Lecomte Jean-Paul, Wawrzynski Wojcieh, Kellerman Adi, Murphy David, Ni Cheallachain Cliona, Bergh Oivind, Nedreaas Kjell (2014). Proposal and Recommendations for a Science-Policy interface (SPi) to support MSFd implementation STAGES - Science and Technology Advancing Governance of Good Environmental Status.