The water framework directive implementation: is it possible to achieve good ecological status in European waters, from lessons learnt?

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The summer school will be held from 6th to 8th June 2017 (coinciding with the week of the Oceans’ Day on 8th June), at Aquarium of San Sebastian (Spain). AZTI is the hosting organization, but also the school is included under the EEAcademy umbrella, from the European Environment Agency. This is the 14th AZTI’s Summer School.
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When 06 Jun 2018 to
08 Jun 2018
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After the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC), the European Member States should have achieved good ecological status in all surface waters (lakes, rivers, transitional waters and coasts) by 2015. However, a high percentage of the European water bodies remain still in an ecological status lower than good.

Since year 2000 European countries have worked in developing assessment tools, intercalibrating these methods, implementing programmes of measures to reduce pressures and achieve good ecological status. However, at some extent, these efforts have not been recompensed with a generalized increase in the quality. Taking into account that in coming years this directive is going to be updated and amended, we think that it is time to reflect on the issues that are going well and those that need to be reformulated and improved.

Hence, the topic for this summer school relates to the lessons learnt from the implementation of the WFD, in freshwaters and marine waters, and the determine which actions should be taken to improve methods, measures and approaches in order to achieve finally a good ecological status in all European waters.

The attendees will acquire new knowledge on recent trends in aquatic research, in relation to the management and governance of water bodies. This summer school will focus on the integration of different sciences (i.e. social, economic and ecological) as a means to enhance the potential of our aquatic systems through adequate management and governance. This course will explore this at different research and management scales (e.g. scientific, local and national governments and European scale). Hence, the main objective of the school is to give an overview on the lessons learnt from the WFD implementation and extract conclusions to adapt it in the near future and achieve good ecological status.

As an important outcome of this course (in addition to the presentations, which will be freely available after the school), the professors participating in the course will prepare an open access position paper on this topic, to be submitted to a broad scope scientific journal (e.g. PlosOne). This will be a cross-cutting review: Where are we now and where are we going in this topic?

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