Key Policy Drivers

The specific needs of key international policy drivers for habitat mapping information are outlined below:
  • EC Habitats Directive -  Work to identify offshore Special Areas of Conservation  (SAC) is required in many European countries, requiring a number of new mapping surveys to help identify suitable sites.
  • EC Habitats Directive - Member States are required to report to the EC on the status of features listed in the Directive (assess Favourable Conservation Status). For the marine habitats, the assessments need to draw upon available data on habitat distribution and extent of the marine Annex I habitats.
  • OSPAR Convention - Contracting Parties are required to identify sites to contribute to OSPAR’s goal of an ecologically coherent network of well-managed MPAs by 2010. This will require substantial information on the distribution of habitats to aid the selection and optimal delineation of a representative suite of MPAs.
  • OSPAR Convention JAMP1 assessments - A set of assessments of the listed species and habitats is required by 2009 and periodically thereafter. As part of this, data are needed on the distribution and extent of each of the habitats listed.
  • Proposed EC Marine Strategy Directive - This Directive is currently in final drafting stages and is expected to require an initial assessment of the state of the marine environment in about 2011. This will include the provision of information on the range of marine habitats present in each Member State, and further details and maps for habitats of conservation importance.
1Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme

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