Under the 2003 EU Greek presidency, cooperation with Balkan countries on environmental issues was identified as a priority of the EU/Balkan Action Plan. Large-scale co-operation is essential for effective action in the vulnerable Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal zones. During the last 50 years both areas suffered major changes; as semi-enclosed basins, both Seas are ultra-sensitive to anthropogenic stress and to climate change. An EU Presidency Conference on Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean/Black Sea (May 2003), revealed major gaps in management structures, scientific strategies and identified a diversity of environmental issues to be resolved through priority-focused RTD cooperation. Yet, while pressure on the resources of the two seas increases and the potential impact of climate change on coastal and deep-sea resources remains unknown, the two seas have never been jointly studied as systems of interacting basins and ecosystems.
The proposal outlines collaboration and clustering schemes involving environmental, economic and scientific organisations in Mediterranean, Black Sea and other EU nations, in order to create synergies in networking and exchanges at several levels, addressing for the first time the system of interconnected basins as one, based on the integration of, both horizontally and vertically, natural scientists and economists. These will:
1) Create an international, interdisciplinary platform coordinating the region's scientific potential in order to prepare RTD projects, based on a Science Plan for the region, securing sustainable development;
2) Focus on natural and anthropogenic pressures exerted upon the functioning of the ecosystem;
3) Reinforce RTD capacity by setting up an environment/resource monitoring network in the light of existing observation networks of different scopes.
Field of science
- /social sciences/other social sciences/social sciences interdisciplinary/sustainable development
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/ecology/ecosystems
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action