Work Package 8 – Development of Marine Sustainability Assessment Toolkit


Partner responsible – National University of Ireland Galway
The final WP develops a "policy toolkit" that prepares a database of pressures and activities from WP7 case study and tests various scenarios using various policies, looking at how well those policies perform in delivering MSP and MSFD goals. Building on the work of WPs 4, 5 and 6, WP 8 first compiles a multi-faceted database that quantifies sectoral pressures on the marine environment in a cohesive, multi-scale and multi-sectoral manner, and then tests options for managing those pressures through a policy Toolkit using the case study sites from WP7. The database will be constructed from economic (WP4), social, ecological and institutional (WP5 and WP6) datasets, and will produce spatially explicit outcomes for various sector pressures acting both independently and in aggregate, as well as possible policy and sector responses.

This approach provides for a common, repeatable structure (i.e. the Toolkit) for testing the effectiveness of the range of single-sector to integrated, multi-sector management options within case study sites. The Toolkit’s outputs will be disseminated to policymakers, partners, and stakeholders identified from WP2, WP3 and WP7. These outputs can then be used to inform policies and practices that better meet marine ecological sustainability and socio-economic stability goals identified by the MSP and MSFD. Finally, an economic impact assessment will be carried out on the ‘Best Management Plan’ scenarios for the chosen case studies. This innovative Toolkit integrates multiple sectors in the maritime realm which often conflict with others over shared resource space and developmental timelines.

This unique assessment tool will quantitatively capture environmental and socioeconomic pressures, providing evidence-based data for the development of integrated policies within existing and proposed EU Directives. Another distinguishing feature of the Toolkit is its distinctive strength, which stems from the combined outputs of the project’s WPs as well as the multidisciplinary expertise of the project team, which includes geographers, economists, environmental scientists, and policy experts.
WP8 Actions and Outputs
Action #
Description of Action

Action 1:
Database development
The database will be constructed from datasets developed by WP4, WP5 and WP6. These datasets represent relevant physical, ecological, socioeconomic, demographic, and institutional information, which the WP8 database can then manage and interact in a spatially recognisable format (GIS software). The database will be adaptive, updatable, and analysable through Structured Query Language (SQL) tools to quantify scale-relevant pressures within and between marine and coastal sectors.

Action 2:
Iterative ‘Best Management Plan’ testing of case study sites
The Toolkit will be constructed based on marine policies. Scenarios will be developed for each case study under a range of cross-sectoral pressures. Policies will then be tested for how well they manage activities to meet MSP and MSFD goals. Effective policies represent Best Management Plans (BMPs). As scenarios become increasingly multi-sector, a suite of BMPs will emerge that best support cross-sectoral objectives while still meeting Blue Growth goals. This suite of BMPs forms the Toolkit.

Action 3:
Economic Impact Analysis
An economic Impact analysis will be carried out to determine the wider economic implications resulting from the Best Management Plan scenarios from action 2. The direct and indirect employment and output impacts in the region will be calculated for each of the Blue Growth case studies. The analysis will be based on input-output tables that are available from the statistical office Eurostat for each of the partner countries. Input-output tables show the relationships that exist between industries.