The overall increase in maritime transport, coastal urbanization and the foreseen increase in offshore oil and gas extraction pose serious risks of pollution from hazardous substances for several coastal states in the whole Mediterranean, and in particular in the Adriatic - Ionian region. Countries sharing a marine region or sub-region should adopt a common approach to environmental monitoring, good environmental status definition and assessment.
In the Adriatic – Ionian marine sub-regions, the level of coherence and consistency of several EU and regional environmental policies, particularly in the assessment of contamination from hazardous substances, needs a common implementation.
In the framework of enhancing the capacity to tackle environmental vulnerability and safeguard ecosystem services at transnational scale, the objective of HarmoNIA is twofold:
- to share best practices to support the harmonized implementation of marine environmental directives in the ADRION region
- to strengthen the network of data infrastructures to facilitate access and re-use of marine data among countries bordering the Adriatic – Ionian Seas.
Building on the EU initiative EMODnet for the management and supply of fragmented marine data, HarmoNIA will strengthen the existing transnational network of data infrastructures to facilitate access and re-use of marine data among countries bordering the Adriatic – Ionian Seas. The project will improve the coherence, among most countries bordering the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, all Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention, of protocols for monitoring and for assessment of contaminants in the marine environment and will facilitate data and information exchange within the region.
The outputs will consist in a Transnational network of institutions adopting a joint data management system for contaminants in the marine environment, and in regional strategies to improve harmonization in monitoring and assessment, and to evaluate risk of contaminant dispersion in vulnerable coastal zones from different pollution sources.
HarmoNIA outputs will improve the coordination among institutions involved in MSFD and UNEP/MAP protocol implementation, local, regional and national authorities in charge of environmental assessment, management, conservation, as well as research institutions, to tackle problems related to pollution dispersal and risks on the coastal areas of the ADRION region. The transnational approach will be assured by the cooperation among partners from most of the countries bordering the ADRION region, with consolidated experience in marine data acquisition and management and involved in the implementation of marine environmental policies.