OSPAR Common Indicators

The common indicators have been adopted by the OSPAR Commission. These indicators are the basis for regular OSPAR assessments of the changing status of the marine environment and the intensity of pressures from human activities. Common indicators are adopted for specific OSPAR Regions and ensure consistency and comparability of updated assessments over time.

Indicators under development are referred to as candidate indicators. The list of candidate indicators is a live document and is not published here. OSPAR publishes pilot assessments based on the candidate indicators occasionally to demonstrate the concept and to make information from the candidate indicators available.

The common indicators deliver assessments at regular intervals which are published in the OSPAR Assessment Portal. The frequency of updates to the indicators vary depending e.g. on the frequency of monitoring efforts or the speed at which the indicator is foreseen to demonstrate a change. Typically, indicator assessments are update every 2 or 3 years or every 6 years.

The indicators are based on information from monitoring programmes described in the Coordinated Environment Monitoring Programme (CEMP). The programmes are described in the CEMP Appendices, and details, including method descriptions for the indicator calculations, are included in the CEMP Guideline Agreements.