Abiomed Logo_CMYK

Activity 6: Integrating GES biodiversity assessment in a pan-Mediterranean scale

The 2017 MEDQSR underlined the gaps identified during the assessment exercise on the agreed indicators in synergy with the EU MSFD. The next challenge is determining whether the measures/actions are effective in achieving their objective of maintaining or achieving GES. The main objective of this activity is to support spreading the knowledge and experience generated through the project to the whole Mediterranean, by sharing relevant outputs with all Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, both EU and non-EU Member States. This activity will work on setting out general recommendations to provide stepwise guidance on the assessments to be undertaken for D1/EO1, based on application of IMAP and the revised Commission Decision criteria and methodological standards and Member State determinations of GES under Article 9(1), which lead to a consistent presentation of assessment results across marine regions. Given the pan-Mediterranean scope of this activity, as previously mentioned, attention will be paid to the coherence of work with the Ecosystem Approach and IMAP implementation. The Barcelona Convention SPA/BD Protocol will also be considered, and a special attention paid to the spatial protection measures relating to biodiversity conservation. The work here will build on the current and past projects, such as IMAP-MPA and EcAp MED II and III, dealing with the networks of Marine Protected Areas and their contribution to the achievement of GES under Descriptor 1/EO1.

This activity aims at structuring an expert group of researchers from EU and non-EU Mediterranean countries profiting of parallel on-going initiatives e.g., Bluemed CSA and JPIO S4GES action. This will help in the clear indication of: 

  • the extent and spatial distribution of the different predominant pressures (using first a mapping of human activities, if appropriate) and possible impacts on Benthic Habitats; 
  • how each pressure and impact could affect the status of the different ecosystem elements by assessing those elements; 
  • those pressures that are more likely to pose a significant risk to the achievement of GES. Key outcomes from this activity, with a relevance to the entire Mediterranean region, can be shared with the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, through relevant means and bodies (i.e., CORMON Meetings on Biodiversity and NIS, SPA/BD Thematic Focal Points etc.), as appropriate.


Task 6.1: Strengthen regional coordination on reporting assessment results.

Task 6.2: Review of the different elements associated to GES assessment including climate change.

Task 6.3: Development of a set of indicators on seafloor integrity in synergy with the D6.


D6.1: Working document on Guidance for 2023 reporting, using the InfoMAP database platform. 

D6.2: Guidance on potential time-series datasets that can be considered to best equate the reference condition.

D6.3: Working document on pan-Mediterranean approach to GES and effects of climate change on baselines (and consequent thresholds) definition.


Leader: Asma Yahyaoui e-mail: asma.yahyaoui@spa-rac.org