The European Integrated maritime policy (IMP) try to provide an approach more coherent to the maritime issues, with a better coordination between the different political sectors and shareholders involved.
The Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP – 2014/89/EU) is one of the main action carried out by the EU in the frame of his own IMP. This directive has, in fact, the target to promote the management and exploting of the marine resources based on a knowledge still more deeper of the ecosystems process and functioning, of their role, conservation and the ecosystem services provided.
Planning when and where to develop human activities at sea in order to make the pressures generated as sustainable as possible, it will require a close integration of ecological, social and economic assessments of the various stakeholders involved and policy makers. In this scenario, the implementation of the MSP requires a strong interaction with the directives concerning the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA-2014/52/EU) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA – 2001/42/EC).
Plans or projects related to coastal works and infrastructures that potentially can influence the meadows of Posidonia oceanica (priority habitat sensu Habitat Directive, 1992/43 / EEC) are subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures, including those of Incidence Assessment (VINCA) (Article 6 Habitats Directive, 1992/43/EEC). In some cases, Posidonia transplantation is indicated as a compensatory measure of the damage suffered by the prairies.
Nevertheless, because the legislation on the EIA is based on both national and regional normative, involving a huge number of stakeholders and different environmental aspects, there is the risk that an environmental damage as the partial or total destruction of P. oceanica can ben managed with too different approaches. This means a threat to compromise the success of mitigation or compensation actions such as transplantation.
That is the reason to provide clarity on the principles, rules and procedures concerning the management of P. oceanica transplants and on the actors involved, will allow to improve the governance process concerning the management and recovery of damaged P. oceanica meadows and to support implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directives (EIA-2014/52/EU) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP-2014/89/EU) improving the integration of environmental objectives into the EU’s maritime affairs