RPS was appointed as expert advisor and project partner by the Marine Institute and Department of the Environment to assist in the delivery of six projects. These projects were to ensure Ireland meets its obligations with regard to the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The following MSFD Projects were delivered by RPS under the guidance of the Marine Institute and the Department of the Environment by means of a Project Steering Group:
Preparation of a draft Initial Assessment, including the development of an Index of Indicators and proposal for draft Environmental Targets
Data collection, processing and digitising to build an Atlas of the Irish Marine Environment (http://atlas.marine.ie/)
Preparation of a monitoring programme for the Irish Marine Environment including an implementation roadmap from 2014 – 2020. This has formed the basis of ongoing work on a national monitoring programme for the Irish marine environment
Preparation of the draft programme of measures for the MSFD and its development through collaboration and consultation with a wide range of national and international stakeholders
Public consultation and stakeholder engagement obligations during all stages of the process. This included active collaboration with stakeholders during the development of the work outputs and the design, development and delivery of a public consultation process including summary documentation, public information days and consultation feedback reporting
Completion of all reporting obligations to the European Union including the development of reporting schema to meet the evolving requirements of the European Environment Agency (EEA)
The work on the first cycle of MSFD required the development of a collaborative framework approach across scientific disciplines and the creation of a policy relevant context for the work. RPS provided scientific consultancy services including scientific secretariat functions, chaired technical working groups and expert consultative groups, and completed all Cycle 1 reporting to the European Commission.