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Marine Biodiversity

While knowledge on marine biodiversity and associated ecosystem functioning has increased rapidly, additional important advances have yet to be made and a concert European effort will be required across several domains. The Working Group on Marine Biodiversity aimed to raise the profile of marine biodiversity research to ensure these issues are addressed in future research and capacity-building programmes at both national and European level.


Future Science Brief 1, Marine Biodiversity: A Science Roadmap for Europe (September 2012)



Position Paper, Establishing a Framework for Implementation of Marine Biodiversity Research in Europe (May 2000)



Position Paper 2, A European science plan on marine biodiversity (April 1998)




The Marine Board-ESF has contributed to the development of marine biodiversity science in the past through a number of publications (Science Plan, Implementation Plan). Despite this, the presence and role of the marine biodiversity community is still weak in many international initiatives. We, therefore, agreed to develop a new document on the importance and positioning of biodiversity research (programmes and infrastructures) highlighting recent achievements across marine biodiversity research, exploring the urgent remaining scientific questions and suggesting new research and management activities to address them taking into account the current EU policy framework and international agreements and conventions.

Political interest in marine biodiversity science is increasing because awareness and knowledge of the socio‐economic consequences of biodiversity change/loss has grown considerably. Management of marine biodiversity through holistic marine policies and governance (Marine Protected Areas, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, marine spatial planning, etc.) is, however, still poorly developed.


  • To highlight recent key achievements and outputs in marine biodiversity research delivered through international/EU scientific programmes
  • To place marine biodiversity research in the context of policy developments and needs
  • To identify research and management gaps and needs to address the emerging challenges both in science and policy making processes
  • To secure long‐term commitment in supporting biodiversity research both in terms of programmes and infrastructures at the EU level


Contact at European Marine Board Secretariat: Email