A multidisciplinary Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Mediterranean to support implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Tim O'higgins

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The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) adopted in 2008 aims to protect the marine environment through the holistic Ecosystem Approach (EA). The MSFD requires Member States to develop and implement cost-effective measures to achieve and/or maintain ¿Good Environmental Status¿ (GEnS). To this end, interested parties require a large amount of data and this data should be appropriately managed. This is particularly true for EA applications, where data can come from diverse sources, in diverse formats, and from several disciplines.
Preliminary steps for supporting reliable multi-disciplinary analysis include data collection, data management, and the implementation of an interoperable sharing system. In an effort to implement this type of multidisciplinary analysis, a working group from the KnowSeas project (www.knowseas.com) created a Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Mediterranean Sea, designed to define and analyze the GEnS concept across various geographical scales. This article describes the implementation of this SDI, demonstrating how an interoperable system can provide strong support in implementing the MSFD under the EA, and how marine spatial planning can assist policymakers in the decision making process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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