Ecosystem-Based Management for the Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity – Practice and Lessons Learnt

10 October 2018, 12:30 – 17:30 and 11 October 2018, 9:00 – 17:00
Les Ateliers des Tanneurs, 58-62 Rue des Tanneurs, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

The EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy aims to tackle the loss of species and habitats and establish targets to preserve and restore biodiversity. However, our rivers, coasts, and seas - home to an array of species and habitats and providing numerous ecosystem services - are under significant threat from human activity.

What is the status of implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for aquatic ecosystems and is ecosystem-based management a potential tool for protecting them?

These and other questions were addressed at the AQUACROSS Final Conference on 10-11 October 2018 in Brussels, an interactive event on ecosystem-based management of aquatic ecosystems. Ninety key leaders and experts from science, policy and business came together to:

  • Engage with policy makers
  • Share views and experiences
  • Learn from case studies
  • Discuss opportunities for ecosystem-based management
  • Expand their network of biodiversity protection experts
  • Update their knowledge of environmental policy for aquatic ecosystems
  • Shape future research for the management of aquatic biodiversity.
For a full overview of the programme, take a look at the Agenda here.

To download conference presentations, see links below:

Session 1 - Framing the Challenge and Response

The status of and threats to European waters
Stéphane Isoard, European Environment Agency

The need for an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to management
Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International

Introduction to the AQUACROSS project
Manuel Lago, Ecologic Institute

Practically applying ecosystem-based management in Europe’s lakes, rivers, coasts, and oceans: an introduction to the eight AQUACROSS
case studies


Session 2 -  Establishing objectives: Taking into account biodiversity targets for the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems

Identification and integration of policy objectives: top down versus bottom-up – lessons learnt from the AQUACROSS case studies
Lina Röschel, Ecologic Institute

Bringing in stakeholders’ perspectives when establishing objectives: lessons learnt from the AQUACROSS case studies
Pierre Strosser, ACTeon

Accounting for stakeholders’ views and policy coherence: experience from application to aquatic biodiversity protection in the 12 OECD principles on
water governance

Francisco Nunes Correia, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon


Session 3 - Understanding the socio-ecological system: How to assess the supply and demand for biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem services

Addressing the links between human activities, pressures, biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in aquatic ecosystems: Introducing the

António Nogueira, University of Aveiro
Florian Borgwardt, BOKU, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Insights into the demand side of the socio-ecological system from a pressure-oriented, freshwater view - experiences from FP7 MARS project
Sebastian Birk, University of Duisburg-Essen

Experiences  in developing assessments from the supply side: How to capture the influence of ecosystem state on capacity to supply ecosystem

Leonie Robinson & Fiona Culhane, University of Liverpool


Session 4 - Interpreting the future: the importance of scenarios for decision-making

Scenarios for ecosystem-based-management in aquatic ecosystems: AQUACROSS case studies and beyond
Sonja Jähnig, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, IGB

Global-scale scenarios and models for aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services
Jan Janse and Rob Alkemade, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment

Inter-sectoral assessment of management scenarios based on ecosystem services
Martin Pusch, IGB

The AQUACROSS Information Platform: managing the data for the development of AQUACROSS Case Studies
Juan Arevalo, IOC-UNESCO


Session 5 - Enabling factors to make ecosystem-based management happen for biodiversity conservation in aquatic ecosystems

Practical evidence from the implementation of ecosystem-based management in the North Sea
Gerjan Piet, Wageningen Marine Research

Critical evaluation of AQUACROSS stakeholder processes: lessons learnt
Pierre Strosser, ACTeon

Pre-conditions for the design and implementation of ecosystem-based management in aquatic ecosystems
Gonzalo Delacámara, IMDEA Water


Session 6 - Opportunities for the protection of aquatic biodiversity beyond 2020

No presentations. Opening statements, panel discussion and interactive exchange with key experts from policy, science and business


Questions or feedback with respect to the conference? Please do not hesitate to approach Ecologic Institute’s team via email at

Conference Images - click on any of them to enter the gallery