The farmer as water manager under changing climatic conditions
The project focused on enabling farmers to act successfully as water managers in changing climatic conditions. The project presented water risk management practices that will reduce the consequences of flooding, droughts, water shortage and nutrient transport.
The emphasis on the farmer as a water manager is contributing towards implementing EU policies, such as the Water Framework Directive. The final result of the project was a water management concept to use as a manual for farmers and a set of recommendations on future land and water management planning.
Aquarius is also represented in the cluster project WaterCAP.
Climate changing soils
The project concerned BioChar, which is a product of biomass-to-energy processing systems, and had as its aim to raise awareness and build confidence in BioChar as a way of capturing carbon and increasing soil quality and stability.
In order to keep up with international competition, it was mandatory to develop and compile a transnational North Sea Region knowledge base, which can be utilized by national and regional authorities, businesses and the general public.
Climate change in the North Sea Region is predicted to have a pronounced effect on annual rainfall patterns. Soils, rich in organic matter and biological life, function both as a water buffer during periods of drought and as drainage during periods of heavy rains.
Biochar created a triple win scenario for simultaneously producing bio-energy, permanently sequestering carbon, while increasing crop yields by improving soil and water quality.
Bringing Land and Sea Together
The overall aim of the project was to improve Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Planning (ICZM&P) and maritime safety in a broad sense, by improving and contributing to harmonising terrestrial and sea geographical data and by developing planning and visualisation tools as well as improvement of navigation, in the context of climate change.
BLAST was also represented in the MTC cluster.
Cradle to Cradle Islands
The project focused on the development of new and sustainable energy-related technologies and strategies on islands around the North Sea Region. C2CI developed and implemented the cradle-to-cradle (C2C) methodology for North Sea Region islands, i.e. designing intelligent products and materials that can be used over and over again and thus replace the concept of waste.
Three development clusters that focus on sustainable energy in relation to mobility, water and materialsl created relevant networks and delivered sustainable innovations for the islands' environments. Incubator centres on the partner islands fostered further development and implementation.
C2CI was also represented in the WaterCAP cluster.
Adaptive and Sustainable Water Management and Protection of Society and Nature in an Extreme Climate
The project focused on the effects of climate change for groundwater systems. CLIWAT aimed to identify the challenges caused by the higher water levels and to develop climate scenarios focussing on surface water and water supply as well as the impacts of it on buildings. This would enable the North Sea Region to react more efficiently to the consequences of climate change.
The project built on and improved existing geo-physical methods and these were tested in the partner regions in order to be able to develop recommendations for the North Sea Region on how to deal with the consequences of increased groundwater levels.
CLIWAT was also represented in the WaterCAP cluster and in WaterCAP Taskforce.
A cluster Project on Water management in a changing Climate, Adaptation to new conditions, and Promotion of new strategies
As historical hydrological patterns can no longer be solely relied upon to forecast future water conditions, a new paradigm for water management is needed. The WaterCAP cluster connected six Interreg IVB funded projects (CPA, Aquarius, SAWA, C2C-islands and CLIWAT) working with issues relating to water.
The project focused on recommendations relevant to policy-makers on water quantity/quality issues, climate change impact assessment on different types of water bodies and adaptation strategies including cross-sector involvement and participatory approaches.
Clean North Sea Shipping - Improved dissemination and impact
The CNSS project produced results that have a great need and potential for further dissemination and exploitation. Models & draft tools for visualising of air emissions have been developed. With small adjustments they could be made available for free distribution to schools, universities, public sector organisations and the business community.
The CNSS project has also been preparing high quality evidence based results. CNSS IDI will further develop the triple helix approach & collaboration between industry, policy makers and the research and educational institutes.
Climate Proof Areas
CPA aimed to create a portfolio of climate adoption strategies for the North Sea Region. This was done by carrying out multi-focused pilot projects across the North Sea Region in order to analyse the impacts of climate changes as a first step.
Subsequently, diverse climate adoption strategies were developed, implemented and tested. In addition, the project fostered political support established by the Memoranding of Understanding (MoU) of the North Sea Commission, triggering future investments on a transnational level.
Impact of Climate Change on the quality of urban and coastal waters
The DiPol project had the aim of identifying impacts and suggesting measures to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change that affect the quality of urban and coastal waters.
A tool, which illustrates the impacts of climate changes on water quality was developed and implemented within the DiPol project. By introducing the results into the level of European policy making, a long term impact on the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy was expected.
e-CME Ballast Water
Development and dissemination of educational material including e-learning and hands-on practice on Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of the Ballast Water Management convention.
BlueGreen Coastal Energy Community
The project focused on strengthening the regional production of biomass as a source of bio energy. A substantiated and consolidated investment plan based on commercially viable bio-energy supply chains was presented and implemented. The business model was applied in parallel to differentiated blue-green energy clusters in the North Sea Region and ensured transfer of management expertise between the clusters and identified market interdependences.
The aim was to enable the successful further exploitation of the region's blue-green low carbon energy sources by integrating the biomass grower at one end and the energy producer at the other end. enercoast thereby opened new sources of bio energy, reduced the regional dependency of energy imports and increased the competitiveness of regional energy producers as well ensured their income in a long-term perspective.
Living North Sea
The Living North Sea project solved problems surrounding the management of fish species, which relied on moving between the North Sea and freshwater systems of partner countries. These species were under considerable threat, some even in hazardous decline.
Living North Sea brought together representatives from across the North Sea Region in a project that would make long lasting changes to the way that migratory fish species, whose stocks were shared between nations, were managed in the region. The project created a permanent management group for migratory fish of these habitats, which would continue to work collaboratively, but also tackle decision making processes ensuring project results could be integrated in future policies on the national and EU level.
Mapping and communicating marine energy potentials
MAP-MEP campaigned for a broader societal awareness and dialogue on energy potentials in the North Sea Region. The awareness marketing was designed to increase future energy partnership capacities and to found decision making. Results from energy-sector related IVB North Sea Region Programme projects were compiled for the regional audience and beyond.
MAP-MEP aimed at feeding the mainstream energy debate with topical information, providing policy support and enhancing societal participation through pointed use of social media channels such as a thematic webGIS plus weblog and mobile apps.
Managing Adaptive Responses to changing flood risk in the North Sea Region
Recent flooding has demonstrated the vulnerability of North Sea Region. Municipalities have an urgent need to reduce flood risk, but lack a framework and the resources. The project focused on developing a transnational methodology to implement urban Flood Risk Management Plans in four countries.
The project thereby supported national policy making related to the European Floods Directive and beyond. The main result was a transnational methodology for Flood Risk Management planning applicable in urban environments. In addition, the focus on long-term perspective on climate change adaptation provided a practical follow-up to the EC green paper on climate change.
North Sea - SEP
North Sea Sustainable Energy Planning
During the last few years, the costs for fossil energy resources have been heavily increasing. A possibility to absorb rising costs is to critically question the status quo of energy consumption in order to be able to use existing energy saving potentials. Rising energy costs are contributing to a steadily increasing source of financial pressure for public utilities. This leads to a negative cycle: the public bodies have a lower budget at hand while at the same time the costs are rising, despite the lower demand. There is no available model showing how to link energy policies with the regional and/or local development.
The aim of North Sea - SEP was to foster a future oriented development on regional level by an energy oriented approach. To tackle these problems, the project had to improve local/regional development and the decision making processes by creating tools for regional planners. Successful reorientation and creation of new profiles like energy regions had to consider all actors in a region to involve them in the processes and to create ground for interactive development. Therefore methods and tools for regional planning and decision making were developed with focus on systematic energy planning.
NSBWO - North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity project
North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity
Ships' ballast water is a main source of acute and chronic pollution in the North Sea. The project aimed to improve the North Sea environment and economy by facilitating the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).
The implementation of the BWMC created a new market for innovative products. Ballast Water Opportunity aimed to support the North Sea Region industry to enter this market. It encouraged the ratification of the BWMC through reducing a major barrier: providing treatment and detection equipment.
As a result, common certification standards for BWT were defined, which would stimulate technological development to comply and enforce the BWMC.
North Sea Sustainable Energy Planning Potentials Leading to Utmost Success
In NSSEP PLUS partners from all EU Member States represented in the North Sea Region Programme and a non-co-fundable Norwegian participation further exploited and refined the potential of the CO2-calculator tool. A key outcome under the NSSEP project, this tool was the perfect instrument to work on the mindset towards carbon reduction.
The central goal was to communicate with this tool and through new partners, means, methods and multipliers how actions of public authorities, SMEs, organisations, individual citizens and other stakeholders easily contributed to the CO2-reduction goal.
Strategic Alliance for integrated Water Management Actions
SAWA strived to strengthen the member states for their current implementation of the EU Flood Directive by developing a transnational implementation strategy. The aim was to adapt existing water management systems to the effects of extreme flood events due to climate change, focusing on sustainable development of society and regional economies.
Based on case studies and pilot implementations, SAWA tested the new and innovative strategies in Flood Risk Management around the North Sea. The project integrated local, regional and national stakeholders, university and vocational training students.
Sustainable Coastal Development in Practise
SUSCOD aimed to make a step change in the application of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). Seven partners from five countries developed an innovative Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IZCM) ‘assistant'.
The ICZM approach has been explored in several parts of the North Sea Region and often the focus of these interventions has been public safety. Although these interventions have offered opportunities to realise the full development potential of the areas concerned, in practice a fully integrated, holistic approach has rarely been taken and this is regrettable, because coastal potentials are not fully utilised.
SUSCOD brought together partners that wanted to change this through a well coordinated transnational team approach. The practical web-based tool allowed coastal development practitioners to fully realise coastal potentials, economical as well as social and environmental.
Tidal River Development
TIDE considered tidally influenced North Sea Region estuaries with large sediment transportation, which were used as shipping channels to large harbours. The ecosystem services of intertidal and shallow estuarine habitats were threatened and needed to be considered to ensure economic benefits and the maintenance of ecologically important areas. At the same time, decision-makers at these estuaries were faced with an increasingly challenging legal and global economic framework.
TIDE led the path towards a more sustainable and effective use of large scale investments made into mitigation and compensation measures in North Sea Region estuaries by applying for the first time a unified ecosystem approach to guide the process of integrated participatory management planning.
Thus TIDE not only improved the effectiveness of European, national and regional policy and provided instruments for regional development, but made an essential contribution towards a more sustainable and effective use of investment into North Sea estuaries - since their planning would be based on a unified assessment concept and integrated management planning procedures.
WaterCAP Communication Hub
The WaterCAP Communication Hub project brought together the water knowledge, experience and expertise from the North Sea Region Programme 2007 - 2013 into a single web-based communication hub.
Matching Needs and Knowledge in NSR within Water and Climate Change
The WaterCAP-Taskforce accumulated knowledge and experience on water and climate change from multiple countries and sectors in the North Sea Region. This was gained through the former WaterCAP cluster project, and incorporated a new area of aquatic resource management covered by the LNS. The WaterCAP taskforce partnership became a comprehensive knowledge base for the North Sea Region and made available to stakeholders through the transnational taskforce. The project was used as a springboard for reacting to North Sea Region water needs for new strategic programmes as anticipated by the Europe 2020 Strategy.