Glossary

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A

ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

Adaptive management is a systematic process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of operational programs

B

BUSINESS-AS-USUAL (BAU)

Business-as-Usual is a description of the current management programmes in place (or in the process of being implemented but not yet operational) within a regional sea. BAU is used to describe the current operational environmental, societal or economic landscape.

BUSINESS-AS-USUAL + (BAU+)

A measure or suite of measures implemented in addition to Business-as-Usual that introduce a change or changes in the environmental, societal or economic landscape from its current state.

C

CULTURAL SERVICES

These services include the non-material benefits people obtain from contact with ecosystems. They include aesthetic, spiritual and psychological benefits (TEEB 2010).

CUMULATIVE IMPACT

The sum total of the impacts caused by separate activities

D

DEGREE OF IMPACT (DoI)

The generic severity of the interaction between a pressure and an ecological characteristic in terms of its effects on the characteristic [as used in the ODEMM pressure assessment].

DESCRIPTOR [GES]

Descriptors are used to describe or qualify the ecological characteristics and/or pressure and impacts (associated with human activities), used to define Good Environmental Status (GES) (e.g. Descriptor 1: Biodiversity and Descriptor 10: Marine Litter). [from the MSFD]

DISCOUNTED BENEFITS

Benefits that accrue through time and have been multiplied by the discount factor in order to make all of the values in different years commensurable with each other.

DPSIR

The Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses framework. The causal framework for describing the interactions between society and the environment adopted by the European Environment Agency (definition taken from http://www.eea.europa.eu).

DRIVER (D)

According to DPSIR, driver or ‘driving force’ is a need. Examples of primary driving forces for an individual are the need for shelter, food and water, while examples of secondary driving forces are the need for mobility, entertainment and culture. Here the driver is defined by the sector and activity.

E

ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTIC

Ecologically coherent elements of an ecosystem, that group together more disparate taxonomic groups into the minimum number of elements, based on the view that the lower the number of elements, the easier it is to gain a coherent and integrated assessment across the ecosystem. [from the MSFD]

ECOSYSTEM GOODS AND SERVICES

The capacity of natural processes and components to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs, directly or indirectly.

ECOSYSTEM-BASED MANAGEMENT (EBM)

The comprehensive integrated management of human activities based on the best available scientific knowledge about the ecosystem and its dynamics, in order to identify and take action on influences which are critical to the health of marine ecosystems, thereby achieving sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and maintenance of ecosystem integrity (definition taken from OSPAR).

GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS (GES)

Environmental status of marine waters where these provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive within their intrinsic conditions, and the use of the marine environment is at a level that is sustainable, thus safeguarding the potential for uses and activities by current and future generations. [from the MSFD]

F

FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE (of a pressure)

The frequency that a pressure associated with a particular sector occurs at, within a given year, where it overlaps with the ecological characteristic being assessed [as used in the ODEMM pressure assessment].

G

GOVERNANCE

Governance relates to how an organisation/policy domain is managed and held accountable for achieving strategic and operational objectives

GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENT

The institutional setting in which actors interact in governing a policy domain

H

HABITATS DIRECTIVE (HD)

(Directive 92/43/EEC, EC 1992) Forms the cornerstone of Europe's nature conservation policy, built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and the strict system of species protection. Member States are obligated under Article 17 to report on the status of their listed habitats and species every 6 years.

HABITAT SERVICES

These services underpin the other service groups. Ecosystems provide living spaces for plants or animals; they also maintain a diversity of different breeds of plants and animals (TEEB 2010).

HIGH LEVEL OBJECTIVES (HLO)

The overall objectives set by a particular policy or directive. For the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) these are the eleven GES descriptors, whilst for the Habitat’s Directive these are the criteria for Favourable Conservation Status.

I

IMPACT (I)

The adverse consequence(s) of pressures on any part of the ecosystem where the change is beyond that expected under natural variation given prevailing conditions. According to DPSIR, impact is the changes in the physical, chemical or biological state of the environment which may have environmental or economic consequences affecting the functioning of ecosystems, their life supporting abilities, and ultimately human health as well as the economic and social performance of society.

IMPACT CHAIN

Chain linking driver-pressure-state that causes a specific impact.

IMPACT RISK

A measure of the likelihood of an adverse ecological impact following a sector-pressure introduction. The greater the impact risk, the greater the likelihood of an adverse impact. An adverse impact is defined as a negative effect on the state of an ecosystem component, although state itself is not defined, nor is the reduction.

INDICATOR

An indicator is a standard measure (metric) that allows change to be measured. Indicators may be abiotic (e.g. a chemical concentration) or biotic (a species or taxon). A reference value is used to indicate the expected state of an indicator.

INSTITUTIONAL AMBIGUITY

The mismatch between institutions of the different policy making settings which come together

M

MAGNITUDE OF RELATIVE CHANGE

Quantification of how much better or worse an ecosystem service supply will be in the future as compared to current supply values.

MANAGEMENT MEASURE

Specific controls applied to contribute to achieving the objectives. Several mechanisms may be applied to apply these controls, including technical , social or economic.

MANAGEMENT OPTION (MO)

A management option consists of one or more measures adopted by the management authority in order to reach an operational objective, but not consisting of concrete management measures nor a specification of the actions required to fulfil the preconditions.

MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

A management strategy consists of one or more measures adopted by the management authority in order to reach an operational objective. Unlike a management option, a strategy includes a specification (or at least consideration) of actions required to fulfil the preconditions for the implementation of the selected measures (e.g. monitoring and/or enforcement).

MARINE STRATEGY FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE (MSFD)

(Directive 2008/56/EC) The legal instrument that the European Commission has adopted to promote, clean, healthy, biologically diverse and sustainable seas.

MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE

The sharing of policy-making competencies in a system of negotiation between nested governments at several tiers (supranational, national, regional and local) on the one hand and private actors (e.g. NGO’s, producers, consumers and citizens) on the other hand

P

PRESSURE (P)

The mechanism through which an activity has an effect on any part of the ecosystem. Pressures can be physical (e.g. abrasion), chemical (e.g. introduction of synthetic components) or biological (e.g. introduction of microbial pathogens).

PROVISIONING SERVICES

Ecosystem services that describe the material outputs from ecosystems. They include food, water and other resources (TEEB 2010).

R

RECOVERY LAG

A measure of management potential given the persistence of a pressure and resilience of an ecological component. Recovery lag is defined as the time (years) it takes for an ecological component to return to pre-impacted condition.

REFERENCE VALUE

A reference value (can also be referred to as a baseline) is the expected state of an indicator under predefined conditions.

REGIONAL SEA CONVENTIONS (RSC)

The legal and institutional framework that facilitate cooperation between states bordering a sea

REGULATING SERVICES

Services that ecosystems provide by acting as regulators, e.g. regulating quality of air and breakdown of waste (TEEB 2010).

RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION

Quantifying the relative amount that each ecological characteristic contributes to the supply of an ecosystem service

RESILIENCE

The time required by an ecological characteristic to recover after cessation of any further activities causing the particular pressure.

RESPONSE (R)

According to DPSIR a ‘response’ by society or policy makers is the result of an undesired impact and can affect any part of the impact chain

RISK

A function of likelihood and consequence, where highest risk is assumed when a severe consequence is likely.

S

SECTOR

A human activity that exploits the same or related product or service provided by the marine ecosystem (e.g. shipping; coastal infrastructure).

SHAPE OF RESPONSE

A graph that characterises the change in ecosystem service supply from current supply values to those predicted in the future.

SPATIAL EXTENT

The extent and distribution of the pressure from a sector where it over-laps (in time and space) with a particular ecosystem component.

STAKEHOLDER

Anybody who can affect or is affected by an organisation, strategy or project

STATE (S)

According to DPSIR the ‘state’ of the environment is the quality of the various environmental compartments (air, water, soil, biota etc.) in relation to the functions that these compartments fulfill. The ‘state of the environment’ is thus the combination of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics (see MSFD Annex III)

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Sustainable Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Its three "interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars" are economic development, social development, and environmental protection (UN 2005 world summit)

T

TIME SCALE OF CHANGE

An estimate of time when the full change in ecosystem service supply is realized, that is, when ecosystem service supply reaches a threshold and levels out.

TOTAL RISK

The product of Impact Risk and Recovery Lag.

U

UNDISCOUNTED BENEFITS

Benefits that accrue through time and have not been multiplied by the discount factor in order to make all of the values in different years commensurable with each other.

 

References

TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. Ecological and Economics Foundations, London and Washington: Earthscan.