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Conference: “Marine Biodiversity – The Key to Healthy and Productive Seas”

The European project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status), funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’, has organised its Final Conference, which will be held at the Madou building - European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Brussels (Belgium) from 17th to 19th October 2016.

17 October 2016 - 19 October 2016

The objective of the DEVOTES Final Conference is to bring together policy-makers, scientists and stakeholders from the marine field, to discuss how to bridge the gap between science and policy to enhance the health status of European seas. During the conference, the project results will be presented, including inputs and key recommendations from the different tools available for effective marine monitoring, modelling and assessment. To fill the gaps between science and policy, a dedicated stakeholder meeting “Bridging Science and Marine Policy”, chaired by Matjaz Malgaj (Head of Unit for Marine Environment and Water Industry at the European Commission), with the presence of many stakeholders, has been embedded into the programme and will take place on 17th October. During this event, the biodiversity assessment software developed in the context of DEVOTES for assessing the environmental status of marine areas according to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) will be presented. This versatile tool is called NEAT (Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool).

The Conference will continue with two days of scientific discussions, aimed at sharing and spreading the developments of innovative tools and software for the assessment and management of marine waters and to support the implementation of MSFD and the Regional Sea Conventions. Innovation in marine monitoring techniques, the selection of appropriate indicators to assess the status of the MSFD descriptors, how ecological models can support a better management of marine resources, and how to overcome the socio-economic barriers to achieving good environmental status will be highlighted.

Invited talks will be given by Ricardo Serrão Santos (Member of the European Parliament), Tundi Agardy, (Director of the Marine Ecosystem Services -MARES- Program at Forest Trends), and Paul Snelgrove (Director of the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network).

The Conference, organised in four sessions and forty-two scientific contributions, has received a great interest from a wider audience, accounting for 120 people registered.

For more information please consult
All ouputs of DEVOTES, including software, scientific publications and a book, are freely available at its website:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Organisation Committee at


monitoring, innovative, tools, MSFD, marine, integrative, Good Environmental Status, Marine Strategy Framework Directive