Anthropogenic pressures on land and sea

Assessing pressures of human activities in coastal and marine areas of the Mediterranean and beyond

CURRENT STATUS

The coastal and marine environment is exposed to multiple factors and pressures stemming from human activities and climate change. Some of the pressures come from land-based activities like tourism, urbanization along the coast and pollution from agriculture fields while others are sea-based, as in the case of maritime transport, fishing and aquaculture, and oil and gas drilling. Understanding the combined impact of these activities on our natural ecosystems is crucial, particularly when they occur in biodiversity hotspot regions such as the Mediterranean.

Fortunately, the cumulative impact of these various pressures is being acknowledged more and more by national, regional and European policies; the Barcelona Convention and its protocols aim to tackle pollution and an integrated management of the coast, and the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive is addressing the environmental status and trends of European waters.

To assess and monitor the effectiveness of these policies, data needs to be collected and made available so that adequate indicators based on scientific approaches can be developed.

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OUR ACTIONS

We at ETC-UMA have built an analytical approach to measure the pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems around the DPSIR  framework. Our approach has helped describe interactions between human activities and the environment, together with related responses from policy. Going beyond the notion of sources of pollution, we widened the scope to cover a range of drivers and factors involving environmental changes and affecting marine and coastal ecosystems. Applied so far to the Mediterranean Sea, we obtained a full overview of the links between the pressures, the underlying causes and the potential final impacts and of the potential policy responses that could influence the situation in the region. For our analyses we used spatially explicit indicators combined with scientific data to provide a comprehensive composite pressure indicator.

Our achievements are

Development of an integrated methodology based on the Ecosystem approach to produce indicators on multiple drivers and pressures

Methodological improvements for the assessment of cumulative pressures.

Development of the MedBioLitter open database on science available on marine litter and the impacts on biodiversity in the Mediterranean.

Production of indicators related to coastal and maritime tourism.

Related projects

Resources

Get in touch

Dania Abdul Malak

Policy approach

daniaabdulmalak@uma.es

Dania Abdul Malak is a senior environmental researcher and Director of the European Topic Centre at the University of Malaga (ETC-UMA). She has over 15 years’ experience in environmental assessment and management...

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Christoph Schröder

Indicator approach

christoph.schroder@uma.es

Based on my MSc in Geography (University of Bonn) I have developed expertise in Geographic Information Systems and land use/cover change analysis from local to global scale with particular interest in the Mediterranean...

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MedBioLitter: an open database on marine litter and biodiversity science

MedBioLitter: an open database on marine litter and biodiversity science

An open database and spatial geoportal on current scientific knowledge related to marine litter and biodiversity interactions in the Mediterranean region ...
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A new cooperation project to improve the environmental sustainability of Mediterranean coasts

A new cooperation project to improve the environmental sustainability of Mediterranean coasts

The project ENSERES (ENhancing Socio-Ecological RESilience in Mediterranean coastal areas) funded by the European Union under the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation program ENI CBC Med, has kicked off in Malaga bringing together international organizations engaged in research, environmental protection, and public authorities ...
The role of healthy wetlands in fighting climate change

The role of healthy wetlands in fighting climate change

The new report developed by the ETC-UMA (University of Malaga), as partner of the European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil Systems (ETC/ULS) has shed light on the role of healthy wetland habitats in the carbon cycle and the ...
Happy World Nature Conservation Day!

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ETC-UMA leads the path towards better governance of the Adriatic- Ionian marine ecosystem

ETC-UMA leads the path towards better governance of the Adriatic- Ionian marine ecosystem

The Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC) project co-funded by the Interreg Med programme and led by ETC-UMA has just finalised an online workshop on " Managing Transboundary priority areas: Towards a governance mechanism on the conservation of the South-Adriatic marine ecosystem" in ...
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