The European Marine Strategy: Contribution and challenges from a Portuguese perspective
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is considered to be the environmental pillar of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, establishing a framework within which member states must take the necessary measures to achieve, or maintain, good environmental status in their marine waters. This study presents Portugal's contributions to the Directive development, describes the Portuguese institutional framework within the MSFD and, finally, highlights the opportunities and threats to the success of the MSFD implementation in Portugal. The latter entails an analysis of the Directive's long term adequacy in its link to (1) marine spatial planning, (2) climate change and (3) the economic/financial crisis. With one of Europe's largest exclusive economic zones. Portugal's interest in the MSFD is paramount. Efforts towards the approval of the final document were assured during the Portuguese presidency of the European Council of Ministers, in 2007, while chairing a thorough discussion between the Council and the European Parliament. In the Portuguese context, the Directive implementation will rely on the Water Institute as the authoritative entity, which will be responsible for coordinating all necessary efforts at the national level. The success of such process depends on a close cooperation among the institutions involved as well as on how approved measures account for long term issues. In addition, the MSFD implementation must be built on lessons learned within the Water Framework Directive, in order to be successful. Although it poses a methodological challenge to Portugal, the MSFD implementation is expected to contribute significantly to the improvement of coastal/marine conservation and management at the national level. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Frazão Santos, C; Gonçalves Teixeira, Z; Janeiro, J; Sousa Gonçalves, R; Bjorkland, R; Orbach, M
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