CASPO Seminar: “Europe at the Seaside: a 'blue revolution', from science to policies and 'blue growth'”

06/09/2015 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Dr. Vittorio Barale

​Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

Marine and maritime issues are coming under the spotlight, in Europe, as society looks for new ways of combining the apparently incompatible goals of protecting our environment and exploiting its resources to the fullest, sustainable, extent. A “blue revolution” is in the makings, to approach sea matters from a new angle, explore the many unknowns that are left, make proper use of the knowledge we do have, and foster an era of “blue growth”. Scientist will continue to tackle critical unresolved issues, to provide answers that are still lacking; but practitioners, managers and policy-makers need to understand the scientific issues at hand, to act upon them; and the general public must be made aware of the same issues, so that alertness and consensus may grow from the societal base upwards. Oceanography, like other Earth Sciences, no longer pertains to the experts only: it has to become everybody’s concern, if we want to continue, and actually increase, enjoying the benefits of healthy marine ecosystems. Marine atlases, detailed maps of maritime activities, plans to lay out the use of sea space, competence centres which specialists and laymen alike can turn to, to acquire the information needed in their activities, are the tools of a new era for sea-goers, in the scientific, economic as well as political arenas. New legislation in the EU is forcing Member States to take stock of all this, and work together, at the basin scale, to cross the latest conservation frontier left for mankind on this planet. Instruments such as the upcoming Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Competence Centre, or the European Atlas of the Seas web services addressing the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Directive, are starting to impact science-based policing and managing of the European Seas. Ultimately, this new approach is expected to have a major influence onto the way science is conducted and perceived by the general public.
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Art Miller
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IGPP Revelle Conference Room