AQUACROSS is built around four pillars of work:
- Pillar 1: Real world testing—the project will ensure stakeholder engagement, knowledge exchange and social learning to achieve practical policy solutions and end-user uptake. Representatives from science, policy, business and case study areas will compose the project’s external advisory board, which will help steer project activities and check the accuracy and relevancy of its results.
- Pillar 2: Giving direction—it is important to understand the current political setting in order to facilitate policy coordination across aquatic ecosystems. Work under this pillar will assess existing political processes and legislation to identify synergies and barriers to aquatic management. AQUACROSS will develop a conceptual Assessment Framework (AF) to assess aquatic ecosystems in line with integrated management, taking into account concepts of resilience and uncertainty.
- Pillar 3: Increasing scientific knowledge—work under this pillar will develop and test protocols and guidance materials for testing the AQUACROSS AF in the case studies. This work includes identifying and assessing drivers and pressures of aquatic ecosystems; understanding causalities between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services; ensuring exchange of data, information and research results through the Information Platform; and forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem service provision.
- Pillar 4: Improving management— building on the work undertaken in the previous pillars, this pillar aims to develop concepts, practices and tools for better implementation of EBM. This includes identifying and understanding the linkages between aquatic ecosystems and human well-being and identifying innovative management responses for aquatic ecosystems.