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Cleaner seas and oceans for Europe
On 24 October the European Commission presented a Thematic Strategy to protect and conserve Europe's marine environment.

Their goal to ensure that all EU marine waters are environmentally sound by 2021 is without doubt an ambitious one.

"Europe's seas and oceans make a huge contribution to our quality of life and our economic prosperity, but they are deteriorating because of over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and a range of other factors," warned Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. "This is an area where there is a strong need for a European overarching and integrated approach."

The strategy proposed sets out common objectives and methods to reach the required quality levels for the various marine regions (the Baltic Sea, the North-East Atlantic, the Mediterranean).

Member States will be responsible for designing and implementing plans to ensure a good environmental status in their respective marine waters, and to work in close cooperation with other countries sharing a marine area, whether these be Member States or third countries.

The Thematic Strategy will form a key component of the future Maritime Policy which will be proposed by the Commission in 2006.

Following on from the thematic strategy on improving air quality that was presented on 21 September, the marine strategy is the second in a set of seven thematic strategies proposed for the Sixth Environmental Action Programme. The other strategies will address waste prevention and recycling, the sustainable use of resources, soils, pesticides and the urban environment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 5th, 2005 at 01:36:08 PM EST
Well, at least they are talking about it as a goal...though they will have to include rivers in this, if they are serious...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sat Nov 5th, 2005 at 02:11:17 PM EST
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The " Water Framework Directive" came into force in December 2000.


The central objective of the Water Framework Directive is the "good status" of waters in the Community. The basic thinking behind "good status" is that waters may be impaired or changed by human use, but only insofar as the ecological functions of the water are not significantly impaired. The requirements for good ecological water quality are defined in detail for the different types of waters. In addition, EU-wide minimum requirements are to be developed for some 30 priority substances on the basis of chemical quality objectives.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 09:23:01 AM EST
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A Marine Strategy to save Europe's seas and oceans
The European Commission has proposed an ambitious strategy to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe. The Thematic Strategy on the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment aims to achieve good environmental status of the EU's marine waters by 2021 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. The Marine Strategy will constitute the environmental pillar of the future maritime policy the European Commission is working on, designed to achieve the full economic potential of oceans and seas in harmony with the marine environment.
A Marine Strategy Directive will establish European Marine Regions on the basis of geographical and environmental criteria. Each Member State, in close cooperation with the relevant other Member States and third countries within a Marine Region, will be required to develop Marine Strategies for its marine waters.
The Marine Strategy is consistent with the water framework directive from 2000 which requires that surface freshwater and ground water bodies (lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries, coastal waters...) achieve a good ecological status by 2015 and that the first review of the River Basin Management Plan should take place in 2021.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 09:30:34 AM EST
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