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Consensus had grown that concertation and co-ordination at European scale is urgently required to implement long-term and large-scale marine biodiversity research and to plan the adequate use of the European research infrastructure. Many research questions cannot be addressed at local scales and require cooperation and the establishment of a committed network of scientists and institutes. There is no agreed common methodology for many aspects of biodiversity research; this needs careful preparation. The objectives of the Concerted Action are to achieve a European consensus on the selection and implementation of:
  • a network of Reference Sites as the basis for long-term and large-scale marine biodiversity research in Europe (Work package 1),
  • internationally agreed standardised and normalised measures and indicators for (the degree of) biodiversity (Work package 2),
  • facilities for capacity building, dissemination and networking of marine biodiversity research, by a) workshops, b) improving training and mobility, c) an internet web-site including an overview of ongoing research programs and existing infrastructure for marine biodiversity research in Europe, d) a database on, reviewed and evaluated, available data, aiming at employing data for socio-economic questions such as the impact of fisheries or tourism (Work package 3).

The objectives will be complemented through 3 Workpackages, consisting of a series of evaluations, recommendations, regional meetings and joint workshops.

The methodology in each of the Workpackages is similar, following a sequence of 1) inventories and reviews made by WP leaders consulting all members, 2) regional meetings and a general workshop to discuss drafts and recommendations, 3) reports and implementation. The inventories, meetings and reports will focus on:

  • expanding the existing networks of marine biodiversity research organisations,
  • establishing a rationale and recommendations for selection of reference sites for marine biodiversity research,
  • establishing a series of methodologies, protocols, and putative indicators of marine biodiversity in Europe,
  • publishing an annotated checklist of available long term datasets, species diversity lists, and associated publications,
  • initialising an Euroconference on marine biodiversity,
  • establishing a web site for dissemination of European marine biodiversity information to scientists, administrators and the public at large,
  • indicating data available to end-users, suitable for integration with socio-economic questions.

The CA will enhance Marine Biodiversity Research in Europe through a network of marine institutes establishing an agreed series of reference stations and indicators. This allows inter-site comparisons and long term surveys, maximises the integration of efforts in marine biodiversity research at pan-European scale for students, researchers and managers dealing with socio-economic questions, and increases the awareness of the public.

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