NEA PANACEA is an EU-funded project in which 8 partners from 5 OSPAR Contracting Parties (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands) collaborate to deliver biodiversity assessments for OSPAR’s Quality Status Report (QSR) 2023. Our focus lies specifically on pelagic habitats, benthic habitats, food webs and marine birds assessments. These assessments can be used by EU member states in the North East Atlantic region to inform their reporting to the EU for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). We work on the development of new biodiversity indicators as well as on the improvement of existing ones, for example in terms of data flow, indicator operability, expansion of geographical coverage or the development of threshold values. In addition, we explore what the best ways are to integrate multiple indicators to deliver a single integrated assessment of a specific ecosystem component (e.g. pelagic habitats).

NEA PANACEA also pays special attention to the coherence between state (biodiversity) and pressure (most notably eutrophication and climate change) assessments. Examples of questions we address are: Do we assess state and pressure on similar (comparable) scales? Are the threshold values (below or above which “good status” is achieved) for pressure and state compatible? Does the information from state assessments optimally flow into the (integrated) state assessments? To this end OSPAR’s biodiversity experts join forces in this project with OSPAR’s eutrophication modelling experts.

NEA PANACEA also aims to have value for those members of the OSPAR family that are not directly involved. In addition to delivering assessments that are of use to all OSPAR Contracting Parties, and especially for those that are also EU Member States, NEA PANACEA will organize two 3-day workshops in which the wider OSPAR community can interact and work together on the QSR products. We also aim to organize a workshop dedicated to the exchange of experience and information about marine birds between the 4 European regional sea conventions.