MERCES, a new four-year project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, was launched on July 6th-8th in Rome, Italy. ENP colleagues Jan van Tatenhove and Eira Carballo-Cárdenas attended the project’s kick-off meeting as members of a multi-disciplinary consortium consisting of 28 project partners from 15 countries.
MERCES stands for ‘Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas.’ The project focuses on 1) assessing the potential of different restoration technologies and approaches; 2) quantifying the returns in terms of ecosystems services and their socio-economic impacts; 3) defining the legal-policy and governance frameworks needed to optimize the effectiveness of the different approaches. To achieve its aims, 10 Work Packages were created with skills in marine ecology, restoration, law, policy and governance, socio-economics, knowledge transfer, dissemination and communication.
Prof. van Tatenhove is the leader of Work Package 6 “Governance structures and legal frameworks”, which will investigate the enabling and constraining conditions of the (marine) governance structures and legal frameworks for restoration of marine ecosystems in the four regional European seas. During the meeting, the project’s overall aims and structure were laid out. Further, all Work Package teams had the opportunity to make concrete plans for the coming year, to introduce each other’s plans to the wider MERCES partners and coordinate their activities.