The aim is to demonstrate its application through cases studies and provide advice on data, knowledge and tools.
Cumulative effects assessments (CEA) are considered a key requirement for sound policymaking and ecosystem-based management. Their actual implementation to guide ecosystem-based management or marine spatial planning is yet to be seen. Cumulative effects are the result of multiple activities that exert pressures on ecosystem components and their functions. In close collaboration with other groups and initiatives such as OSPAR, our group will work towards a common framework for CEA, acknowledging the differences in data, knowledge, and decision processes in different geographic regions.
An important part of the work is to develop stressor–receptor cause–effect pathways (also referred to as pressure state relationships) for all the main human activities in the marine environment (e.g. fisheries, shipping, offshore wind, oil and gas), their pressures (e.g. extraction, contaminants, abrasion, litter, or noise), and how they impact the different ecosystem components (e.g. fish, marine mammals, birds or seabed habitats). Specialists contributing to the work of group work in an inter- or even transdisciplinary context and have a profound understanding of risk assessments covering a wide range of human activities on various marine ecosystem components.