European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC/ICM)

The European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC/ICM) is an international consortium brought together to support the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its mission to deliver timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-makers and the public for the development and implementation of sound environmental policies in the European Union and other EEA member countries.

International Operation and Integration

By reason of the transboundary nature of the marine environment, Member States need to cooperate to ensure the coordinated development of marine strategies for each marine region or subregion. Member States therefore strive to ensure that assessment methodologies are consistent across the marine region or subregion and that transboundary impacts and transboundary features are taken into account.

Use and Spatial Planning of Coastal Waters

The presence of the sea defines a number of specific activities, for example industry, tourism, port activities, mariculture, fishing, etc. that are directly tied to the sea and to the use of the sea or are a related activity. By using the sea, these activities directly impact each other, competing and imposing various legal regimes on one another, which can lead to conflicts regarding sea use in relation to living environment protection objectives, natural ecosystems and landscapes and to granted water rights and decreased economic performance of some of the activities.

Marine Litter (Descriptor 10)

Marine litter includes all solid waste of anthropogenic (human) origin that enters the marine environment in any way. If not removed, the litter remains where it was left. The Slovenian marine environment and coast contain litter of all types and origins. Most of it is from plastic materials originating from land (settlement, tourism, industry) and marine activities (fishing, mariculture, sea transport).

Predominant Pressures and Impacts

The report on predominant pressures and impacts describes human activity in the coastal area and at sea and lists the direct and indirect pressures and impacts caused by these activities. Various activities can cause physical losses in habitats, including physical damage to the seabed, environmental pressures with noise and waste, contamination by hazardous substances and nutrients and biological pressures. Pictured below is the connection between the descriptors and the elements discussed in the chapter on pressures and impacts.

Essential Characteristics of Marine Waters

The analysis of the essential environmental features and characteristics of the relevant waters is based on the indicative lists of elements covering the physical and chemical features, the habitat types, the biological features and the hydromorphology. The first analysis describes the initial state of the marine environment and serves as a proposal for selecting the characteristics that best describe good marine environment status. In agreement with other Adriatic and Mediterranean countries, this proposal will be used to select the characteristics for which regular monitoring will be set up.

Management of Marine Environments

The Marine Division prepares expert groundwork for the Marine Environment Management Plan (MEMP) in accordance with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC) for the contracting authority, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. In the preparation of expert groundwork, the IWRS has the roles of coordinator (of activities and content), of creator of various professional content and of designer of data layers for reporting to the Commission.