Marine ecosystems are used by many marine activities which cause a number of different pressures. In recognition of this, various international and EU policies call for the protection of at least a part of marine ecosystems. For example, there is a call to protect 10% of the seas (as a whole or by paying special attention to certain ecosystems) by developing a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Most recently there is a call to restore 15% of damaged ecosystems to assist their recovery.
The European project MERCES “Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas” (http://www.merces-project.eu/) - funded under the Horizon 2020 action (Grant agreement No 689518), is the first European project that focuses entirely on the restoration of marine ecosystems by focusing on various types of degraded habitats, and the biodiversity, functions, goods and services they provide. The project involves 28 actors from the academic, research and business fabric of 16 countries and more than 300 scientists from a wide range of disciplines such as marine ecology, ecosystem restoration, spatial planning, maritime law and environmental policies and governance, social sciences, dissemination of information and communication.
The project will contribute to the implementation of the European Restoration Agenda and through Pilot Experimental Actions will propose measures and ways to restore ecosystems that will help increase their resilience to climate change, as well as enhance the management and protection capabilities of the natural capital of the seas of Europe.
The first results of the project were presented during the National Conference of the Project LIFE Natura Themis, which took place in Heraklion Crete on September 8-10, 2017 (http://www.lifethemis.eu/sites/default/files/announcements/WEB_THEMIS_PROCEEDINGS.pdf).
MERCES project conducts a survey in order to record the views of a range of stakeholders on the acceptance of restoration, and their preferences on ways to support restoration.
The survey is available in the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/oYDUhXuJgYGnl29Q2.