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The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe.

SDG 14: Life below water



1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries

EU Cohesion Policy - Environment and resource efficiency

The EU Structural and Investment Funds help to protect and preserve natural assets such as water, nature and biodiversity, clean air or raw materials. It includes investing in the needed infrastructures for wastewater treatment and waste management (such as recycling), but also measures to monitor the state of the environment or developing green infrastructure. In doing so the environment represents a source of economic growth and new job opportunities.

Regarding water management, the largest share of the available budget goes to wastewater treatment infrastructure in Member States that still need to fulfil basic needs in this area. Further investments contributes to the availability and security of drinking water services, and to water management and conservation including water reuse.

https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/themes/environment/

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The EMFF is the fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies for 2014-2020. (Information on funding after 2020 is available here: EU budget: Commission proposes a new fund to invest in the maritime economy and support fishing communities)

It is one of the five European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds which complement each other and seek to promote a growth and job based recovery in Europe.

The fund

  • helps fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing
  • supports coastal communities in diversifying their economies
  • finances projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts
  • supports sustainable aquaculture developments
  • makes it easier for applicants to access financing.

 

https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/emff_en

Environment Action Programme

The European Union has put in place a broad range of environmental legislation. As a result, air, water and soil pollution has significantly been reduced. Chemicals legislation has been modernised and the use of many toxic or hazardous substances has been restricted. Today, EU citizens enjoy some of the best water quality in the world and over 18% of EU's territory has been designated as protected areas for nature.

However, many challenges persist and these must be tackled together in a structured way.

The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) will be guiding European environment policy until 2020. In order to give more long-term direction it sets out a vision: "In 2050, we live well, within the planet’s ecological limits. Our prosperity and healthy environment stem from an innovative, circular economy where nothing is wasted and where natural resources are managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and restored in ways that enhance our society’s resilience. Our low-carbon growth has long been decoupled from resource use, setting the pace for a safe and sustainable global society."

It identifies three key objectives:

  • to protect, conserve and enhance the Union’s natural capital
  • to turn the Union into a resource-efficient, green, and competitive low-carbon economy
  • to safeguard the Union's citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing

 

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/action-programme/

Information and communication technologies

Under the broad theme of information & communication technologies the ERDF and EAFRD invest in a range of investment priorities and union priorities to enhance access to and use and quality of information and communication technologies (ICT). Under other themes the ESF through investment in digital literacy, education and training also contributes to human capital development.

https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/themes/2

Final Circular Economy package

On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presents the main achievements under the Action Plan and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised. In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will helpstimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste.

Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:

  • A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2035;
  • A common EU target for recycling 70% of packaging waste by 2030

 

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm

Clean energy for all Europeans

The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU's economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. The proposals have three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers.

Consumers are active and central players on the energy markets of the future. Consumers across the EU will in the future have a better choice of supply, access to reliable energy price comparison tools and the possibility to produce and sell their own electricity. Increased transparency and better regulation give more opportunities for civil society to become more involved in the energy system and respond to price signals.

Biodiversity Strategy

The EU Biodiversity Strategy aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and help stop global biodiversity loss by 2020. It reflects the commitments taken by the EU in 2010, within the international Convention on Biological Diversity. On 16 December 2015, the Environmental Council adopted Conclusions on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. On 2 February 2016, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. 6 targets are envisaged:

Protect species and habitats - Target 1

By 2020, the assessments of species and habitats protected by EU nature law show better conservation or a secure status for 100 % more habitats and 50 % more species.

Maintain and restore ecosystems - Target 2

By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems.

Achieve more sustainable agriculture and forestry - Target 3

By 2020, the conservation of species and habitats depending on or affected by agriculture and forestry, and the provision of their ecosystem services show measurable improvements

Make fishing more sustainable and seas healthier - Target 4

By 2015, fishing is sustainable. By 2020, fish stocks are healthy and European seas healthier. Fishing has no significant adverse impacts on species and ecosystems.

Combat invasive alien species - Target 5

By 2020, invasive alien species are identified, priority species controlled or eradicated, and pathways managed to prevent new invasive species from disrupting European biodiversity.

Help stop the loss of global biodiversity - Target 6

By 2020, the EU has stepped up its contribution to avert global biodiversity loss.

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/strategy/index_en.htm

Marine Litter and Lost fishing gears

Marine litter is a global concern, affecting all the oceans of the world. Every year, millions and millions of tonnes of litter end up in the ocean worldwide, posing environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems. Poor practices of solid waste management, waste water (including storm water) collection and treatment, lack of infrastructure and awareness of the public at large about the consequences of their actions aggravate substantially the situation.

Fishing gear (nets, lines, pots, traps…) accounts for 27% of all beach litter. With its proposal, the Commission will encourage all actors involved to get a maximum of derelict gear back to shore and include it in the waste and recycling streams.

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/good-environmental-status/descriptor-10/index_en.htm

https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/new-proposal-will-tackle-marine-litter-and-%E2%80%9Cghost-fishing%E2%80%9D_en

Blue Growth

Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. It is the maritime contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The 'blue' economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year. However, further growth is possible in a number of areas which are highlighted within the strategy.

The strategy consists of developing sectors that have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth, such as:

a) aquaculture (Fisheries website);

b) coastal tourism;

c) marine biotechnology;

d) ocean energy;

e) seabed mining.

https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/blue_growth

EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal. The EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process. The EU Ecolabel criteria also encourages companies to develop products that are durable, easy to repair and recycle.

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/

European Research Area

The European Research Area (ERA) is a unified research area open to the world and based on the internal market. The ERA enables free circulation of researchers, scientific knowledge and technology.

Six priorities of ERA:

  • more effective national research systems
  • optimal transnational cooperation and competition, including optimal transnational cooperation and competition and research infrastructures
  • an open labour market for researchers
  • gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research
  • optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge including knowledge circulation and open access
  • international cooperation

 

https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/era_en

2. Library Policies and Best Practices

Rivers, lakes and the sea are a source of transportation and power over which our cities were born and libraries can document well this richness. Access to information related to life below water may educate people in having a sustainable relation with their water environment.

The Municipal Library in Lyon organises a regional book prize for environment and makes available collections related to the interpretation of the environment.

 

3. Opportunities for library funding

This Chapter refers to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2021-2027, and in particular to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund+ (ESF).

In order to make the most out of these Funds, first refer to the ESIF managing authorities, which are different in every Member State and are responsible for national operational programmes and policies. The list of national authorities, country after country, and region after region, is available at the following link, https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/managing-authorities/.

In the Table(s) below, for each ESIF objective: Column 1 designates the ERDF or ESF+ specific objective. Column 2 and 3 set, respectively, the related outputs and results indicated by ESIF official documents. It can be easily inferred that European Commission criteria for evaluation are quite general and do not get into the detail of the programmes. It is up to Member States to set additional criteria for evaluation.

Finally, Column 4 lists examples of library projects set up to pursue ESIF objectives or to attain specific Sustainable Development Goals. ESIF-funded and SDG-oriented library projects are matched with specific ESIF 2021-2027 objectives and sub-objectives; what is shown in the table, however, is a simulation: under which presumed ESIF specific objective could SDG-oriented library projects have been funded, if they were to be presented within the ESIF 2021-2027 framework?

More detailed information on the Library Projects listed in Column 5 can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report.

ESIF Objective 5: Synoptic Table ERDF-SDG

4. Main Eurostat Indicators

Key trends in “Life below water” in Europe show the following evidence (Eurostat Report, pp. 273 and ss):

  • Excellent bathing water quality is increasingly being achieved in European coastal waters;
  • Pollution continues to threaten the marine environment;
  • Ocean acidification poses a risk to the marine environment and global climate regulation;
  • The extent of marine protected areas has been growing in the EU;
  • The conservation status of marine habitats and species remains unfavourable;
  • Fisheries in the North-East Atlantic and adjacent seas (FAO 27 area) have become more sustainable ;
  • Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas face greater threats to sustainability and have had an insufficient number of assessments.

 

Goal 14’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators: Source: EU SDG Indicator set 2019, p. 26:

 Goal 14’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators

 

 

5. Library Indicators

 [Page is under construction]

Library Indicators enabling the evaluation of library performances and how they can match SDG indicators.

 

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

"Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources"

Overview

EU Member States share four main marine regions: the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean. While the specific threats may vary between sea basins, it is clear that habitat alteration, over-exploitation of marine resources and pollution are among the most important general pressures affecting the environmental status of EU marine waters. At the same time, the livelihood and well-being of Europeans are heavily dependent on the productivity and health of marine ecosystems. To combat biodiversity loss and ensure sustainable ecosystems, the EU has implemented measures to protect, conserve and restore marine areas.

The Common Fisheries Policy sets the rules on management of the European fishing fleets and conservation of fishing stocks, thus minimising negative impacts and preventing the degradation of the marine environment. Legal impetus for the protection and clean-up of the coasts is addressed through the EU coastal and marine policy. The 7th Environment Action Programme covers, among other, marine waters in order to achieve or maintain good environmental status.

Targets and Indicators: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg14

 

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