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LIFE and the Marine Environment – EU Publication

The EU issued a new publlication on LIFE & the Marine Environment, which covers all aspects of the EU LIFE programme in the marine environment such as Marine Protected Areas, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Birds and Habitats, Natura 2000, Marine litter, fisheries & aquaculture.

Clean and healthy oceans are crucial to the wellbeing of our planet. When the Ocean makes up 70% of our planet it makes sense that we consider the blue and green of our planet together.

The EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive looks at the pressures on the marine environment. How do we limit damage to marine biodiversity and ecosystems and restore their good environmental status? Millions make a living from the sea. We must ensure it is compatible with a healthy marine environment.

The EU has developed strong instruments to make this happen. For marine biodiversity in the EU, the Birds and Habitats Directive and the Natura 2000 network of marine protected areas play the major role. Having well-managed protected areas is key to the recovery of the marine environment. It increases productivity while respecting its rich biodiversity.

By taking a coordinated approach to biodiversity, marine, fisheries and maritime policy, the EU can be a global leader in marine conservation.

One of LIFE’s strengths is to join different policies that have an impact on the health of our seas. The result? Good environmental status for EU marine waters. LIFE projects are practical tools in the fight against marine litter or invasive alien species, among others. They help balance or reduce any negative impacts of fishing and aquaculture, underwater noise, marine contaminants and eutrophication:

  • Fighting marine litter is one of the highest profile achievements of the EU Commission. To complement the flagship plastics strategy, projects have been projects that support clean-up schemes and prevention campaigns.
  • Importance of tackling important to tackle the spread and impact of invasive alien species in coastal areas.
  • Working with fishing communities to mainstream sustainable practices, such as precision methods that cut down on by-catch. This makes commercial sense, as well as being more resource efficient.
  • Finding new ways to prevent and treat the causes of eutrophication. The Urban Oases project in Finland shows that vegetated swales for rainwater retention in cities are more attractive and more cost efficient than bigger stormwater pipes.
  • Working together to make sure governance and transboundary management of marine pressures works.

 

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