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.

Image
Image

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.

Featured outputs

Brief update of the MedBioLitter database version 10 updated in January 2023

Brief update of the MedBioLitter database version 10 updated in January 2023

The MedBioLitter knowledge base is an entry-point to the peer reviewed research evidence published on the impacts of marine litter on marine biota in the ...
ETC-UMA issues new report on the impacts of litter on Mediterranean marine species

ETC-UMA issues new report on the impacts of litter on Mediterranean marine species

On the occasion of the workshop organized by IUCN and Région Sud in collaboration with its CPMR partner, the ETC-UMA Director, Dania Abdul Malak is ...
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 ...

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...

Read More

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...

Read More
Brief update of the MedBioLitter database version 10 updated in January 2023

Brief update of the MedBioLitter database version 10 updated in January 2023

The MedBioLitter knowledge base is an entry-point to the peer reviewed research evidence published on the impacts of marine litter on marine biota in the Mediterranean region. This knowledge base was created in 2017, under the Interreg-Med funded initiative PANACeA ...
Job opening: Marine Research Support Officer

Job opening: Marine Research Support Officer

The European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA) is an international center that develops and applies scientific knowledge and cutting-edge technology to address environmental issues and enhance the status of ecosystems at all spatial scales targeting various stakeholders ...
Save the date! Unlocking solutions for coastal conservation in Europe

Save the date! Unlocking solutions for coastal conservation in Europe

How can coastal wetlands respond to major European Union objectives such as climate neutrality, biodiversity protection, and pollution reduction? What key role do coastal wetlands play in achieving EU commitments for climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation? The European Topic Centre ...
Towards a Strategy for the Sustainable Management of Mediterranean Forests (StrategyMedFor)

Towards a Strategy for the Sustainable Management of Mediterranean Forests (StrategyMedFor)

The StrategyMedFor project, co-financed by the Interreg Euro-MED programme, was launched at the University of Malaga during a two day meeting that took place on March 18 and 19, 2024. The European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis (ETC-UMA), ...
Collaborative science for forests by ETC-UMA  showcased in Slovenia during the COP23

Collaborative science for forests by ETC-UMA showcased in Slovenia during the COP23

As UNEP MAP partner organization, ETC-UMA recently engaged in the organization of a session with Mediterranean institutions under the topic of climate change, entitled: From COASTAL to FOREST ecosystems: Mediterranean Nature-based Solutions to tackle climate change and ensure the Resilience ...
Tools for conserving the Spanish coast

Tools for conserving the Spanish coast

On the initiative of the Instituto Universitario Hábitat Territorio y Digitalización (iHTD) of the University of Malaga, around 70 representatives of Spanish public administrations, researchers, architecture and environmental science players and civil society signed up to the second debate on ...
Loading...