The natural environment is dependent on water to provide society with many essential benefits or “ecosystem
services” (e.g. drinking water, biodiversity, food production, recreation, carbon sequestration). A number of EU
directives aim to protect and improve the delivery of these services. However, successful implementation and
integration of the different directives at a local level is a major shared challenge in the North Sea Region.
Understanding how this can be achieved is fundamental to delivering long-term sustainable ecosystem-based
management strategies for the North Sea Region and the focus for the WaterCoG project.
The project will demonstrate through the adoption of new participatory, ecosystem service based approaches
that implementation and integration of different water management frameworks can be achieved at the same
time as providing additional social, economic and environmental benefits not currently being realised.
A strong transnational component will identify and incorporate common, transferable elements of different
approaches into an up-scaling toolbox that will extend the impact of the project and build capacity for delivering
improved sustainable management strategies for North Sea Region ecosystems.
The projects’ output aims for a change in working practice that will improve the integration between top-down
implementation of European and national directives and bottom-up, participatory developed solutions for
improving the quality and sustainable management strategies of North Sea Region ecosystems.