The war of the 'marine' world - marine biodiversity forum

April 23, 2002

Brussels, 22 April 2002

Alien invasions, threatened ecosystems, early warning systems, … it sounds like excerpts from HG Wells' War of the Worlds, but these are some of the topics under discussion on the marine biodiversity online forum running for the next two weeks.

Organised by Marbena - one of several EU-supported projects on environmental research - the online forum is the first of its kind dedicated to marine biodiversity. Running from 22 April to 3 May 2002, the e-conference focuses on seven topics of great importance to European marine research and biodiversity, outlined under the broad theme: 'European heritage under threat, marine biodiversity in Mediterranean ecosystems'.

The results of the conference will be presented at the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) meeting under the Spanish EU Presidency in May this year. Marbena coordinator Carlo Heip believes participating in the online forum will genuinely raise awareness of marine biodiversity research and will, in turn, inform EU policy making in this vital area.

The topics to look out for

A different topic will be discussed on each day the forum is running, starting with 'Is marine biodiversity under threat in the Mediterranean?'

This will be followed by: 'What are the rates and causes of the erosion of Mediterranean marine biodiversity?'; 'Is invasion by alien species a major problem?'; 'How should Mediterranean marine biodiversity be monitored, and early warning indicators be developed and used?'; 'How can Mediterranean marine biodiversity be incorporated into sustainable management strategies and cost/benefit analyses?'

Then, on -28 April, there is an opportunity to send follow up comments and discuss the summaries from days one to five.

On 29 April, the topic covered is 'Ecosystem-oriented protection and management versus species-specific strategies'; followed the next day by 'Hot topics in the management of the Mediterranean littoral zone, with a case study 'Beach management, development and marine ecosystem under threat: the Posidonia oceanica meadows case'.

The last three days (1-3 May) are a final opportunity to send general comments and to wrap up the forum.

Contacts: heip@cemo.nioo.knaw.nl

Source: Research DG http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/research/ index_en.html

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