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Specific Support Action: IASON –International Action for the Sustainability of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea Environment

Project No. 515234
Coordinator: Hellenic Centre for Marine Research , Greece
Start of project : January 2005
Duration : 18 months
Funding : DG Research

What IASON is about

Cooperation with Balkan countries on environmental issues is one of the priorities of the EU/Balkan Action Plan. If any effective action is to take place, then large-scale co-operation in the vulnerable Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal zones is essential. There have been major changes in both areas over the last fifty years; as semi-enclosed basins, both Seas are very sensitive to anthropogenic stress and also to climate change.

An EU (Presidency) Conference on Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean/Black Sea (May 2003), revealed major gaps in management structures, scientific strategies and identified a number of environmental issues that had the potential to be resolved through priority-focused RTD cooperation. However, at a time when pressure on the resources of the two Seas increases and the potential impact of climate change on coastal and deep-sea resources remains unknown, the two Seas have never been jointly studied as systems of interacting basins and ecosystems.

In order to create synergies in networking and exchanges at several levels, the IASON project has created collaborative, clustering schemes in which environmental, economic and scientific organisations in Mediterranean, Black Sea and other EU nations have participated. Such a modus operandi has prepared the way for the IASON project to address for the first time the system of interconnected basins in an integrated way.

What IASON does

Its focus on natural and anthropogenic pressures exerted upon the functioning of the ecosystem has enabled, the IASON project to:

  • Create an international, interdisciplinary platform coordinating the region’s scientific potential in order to prepare RTD projects, based on a Science Plan for the region, securing sustainable development;
  • Reinforce RTD capacity by setting up an environment/resource monitoring network in the light of existing observation networks of different scopes.