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Keywords:

  • Water Framework Directive;
  • transitional;
  • coastal;
  • marine;
  • monitoring strategy;
  • Scotland

Abstract

  • 1.
    The EC Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into force across the EU on 22 December 2000. It will significantly influence Scottish water policy development and implementation, and set aquatic and wetland natural heritage targets, for many years to come.
  • 2.
    The new WFD will replace or integrate a range of previous water directives, including the aquatic and wetland aspects of the Natura Directives. The WFD offers a significant opportunity to establish a co-ordinated approach to aquatic monitoring. The development of effective monitoring regimes to facilitate holistic assessments of ecological status will be essential to its successful implementation.
  • 3.
    Existing Scottish legislation does not fulfil the WFD's regulatory requirements, and so new statutory controls will be required over a range of activities that currently have little or no regulation in Scotland but which can damage the natural heritage. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) will be the lead Competent Authority in Scotland for implementing the WFD. As such, SEPA must prepare a monitoring strategy and take a lead role in carrying out the monitoring work to determine the status of the water environment and relevant territorial waters of Scotland.
  • 4.
    The Scottish Monitoring Strategy proposal has been suggested for adoption by the other devolved UK administrations to ensure all relevant UK agencies contribute to the development of co-ordinated monitoring programmes for the WFD. A Scottish Monitoring Forum is proposed that would work to identify and fill any information gaps that might exist. However, much of the work on implementing the technical aspects of the WFD awaits the outcome of the various working groups of the European Common Implementation Strategy.
  • 5.
    The products arising from the Scottish Monitoring Forum will feed into the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs co-ordinated UK national marine monitoring strategy and advise the Scottish components of future UK ‘State of the Seas’ reporting.

Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.