OSPAR's preparation for its 2017 Intermediate Assessment on the state of the marine environment in the OSPAR area

14 December 2015

OSPAR's Intersessional Correspondence Group to Manage Preparation and Publication of the Intermediate Assessment 2017 and the QSR21 (ICG-MAQ) met in Portugal last week. ICG-MAQ is responsible for the process around OSPAR's Intermediate Assessment 2017 (IA2017). ICG-MAQ works with OSPAR's Committees in respect of the provision of guidance on style, process and timeline. However, the Committees themselves are responsible for providing the content of the assessment.

ICG-MAQ dicussed the need to appoint a manager who will be dedicated to producing the IA2017 and also discussed the design and online presence of the assessment. The meeting also welcomed the progress made on the common indicator pilot projects and noted that there has already been a lot of work done on drafting the introductory chapter as well as the chapter on climate change & prevailing conditions.

IA2017 Explained

Every 10 years, OSPAR produces a Quality Status Report (QSR) which provides policy makers and the wider public with a condensed overview of current knowledge on trends in pressures and impacts and the quality status of the North-East Atlantic and its Regions (i.e. the OSPAR Maritime Area). The QSRs are backed up by a series of thematic assessment reports prepared under the JAMP. These set out the scientific evidence for the QSR summary report and provide more detailed information for the interested reader. The assessment reports are prepared to deliver regional assessments, based, where possible, on collective monitoring and data collection undertaken by OSPAR countries, and on scientific literature relevant to the development of conclusions at the regional scale. The assessment reports also draw on information from other sources including the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and its expert groups, and organisations within the European Union, for example Eurostat and the European Environment Agency.

The Intermediate Assessment (which will be published in 2017 hence 'IA2017') is essentially a 'mini' QSR that will be published in the interim period between QSRs 2010 and 2021. It will also help those Contracting Parties who are also members of the EU report on their MSFD progress.

Photo of Lisbon: Rustam Aliyev