The Cumulative Effects of Human Activities Knowledge Hub kicked-off in November 2021. The Knowledge Hub expert group will generate a report with guidelines or procedures on how to assess cumulative effects of human activities. The guidelines target groups are authorities or policy makers who frequently take decisions/ give permits expected to be based on Cumulative Effects Assessments’ (CEA), and scientists who need this tool for further research.
The initiative for a Knowledge Hub on "Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Disturbances" was initiated in 2018 and there was a process through multiple workshops to reach the current "Terms of Reference". The expert group consists of research experts on marine multi-use, developing assessment frameworks for environmental impacts, environmental impact assessment and management of marine renewables, impact on deep-sea, modelling of environmental stressors, and of policy makers with experience from ministries, with implementation of marine policy and Marine Spatial Planning. Multiple of the experts are also connected to the related work of CEAF and OSPAR.
The objectives of the Cumulative Effects of Human Activities Knowledge Hub is to develop guidelines and common principles on how to assess cumulative effects of human activities. The guidelines and common principles will target authorities or policy makers who frequently take decisions/ give permits expected to be based on Cumulative Effects Assessments’ (CEA), and scientists who need this tool for further research. The tool should be practical, easy to understand and useful for use in all countries of Europe, with opportunities to adapt it to a local context.
The work of the Knowledge Hub takes into account the work of the working group on Cumulative Effects Assessment Approaches in Management (CEAM) started in 2020 by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The CEAM working group reviews existing guidance and approaches to develop a CEA framework that could provide practical advice in the development of management measures which would be better aligned with operational management and regulatory processes. Alignment between the JPI Oceans Knowledge Hub and the work of ICES is ensured.
The JPI Oceans Knowledge Hub also takes into account the coming Horizon Europe calls and the outputs of related JPI Oceans Joint Actions AquaticPollutants, Science for Good Environmental Status, Integrates Assessment of New Pollutants, Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment and Ecological Aspects of Microplastics.
Cumulative effects assessment (CEA) is a systematic procedure for identifying and evaluating the significance of effects from multiple natural and non-natural pressures and/ or activities on single or multiple receptors. CEA provides management options, by quantifying the overall expected effect caused by multiple pressures and by identifying critical pressures or pressure combinations and vulnerable receptors.
The Knowledge Hub works to streamline decision making and highlights latest developments on Cumulative Effects Assessment, to assist policy makers.
There is a great demand for a common handbook/ procedure for how to implement a CEA. The development of such a guideline must be based on current research, and act as an ABC for users in how to proceed to create a CEA. This is a task that is very suitable for working across national borders and where JPI Oceans can make a special contribution.
The coordinators are Øystein Leiknes from the Norwegian Environment Agency and Donata Canu from National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS).
List of all experts in the Knowledge Hub:
- Bob Rumes, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS), Belgium
- Thomas Kerkhove, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS), Belgium
- Rene Reisner, Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, Estonia
- Marek Nurmik, Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, Estonia
- Agnes Unnuk, Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, Estonia
- Daniela Zeppilli, Ifremer, France
- Jozee Sarrazin, Ifremer, France
- Benjamin Kürten, Juelich Research Centre GmbH, Germany
- Ulrike Schueckel, Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig Holstein, Germany
- Donata Melaku Canu, National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), Italy
- Laura Canesi, University of Genova, Italy
- Ketil Hylland, University of Oslo, Norway
- Øystein Leiknes, Norwegian Environment Agency, Norway