NEA PANACEA is a North East Atlantic project on biodiversity and eutrophication assessment integration and creation of effective measures.

The project’s focus lies specifically on assessments for OSPAR’s Quality Status Report (QSR) 2023 of the status of pelagic habitats, benthic habitats, food webs and marine birds. But also pays special attention to the coherence between state (biodiversity) and pressure (most notably eutrophication and climate change) assessments.

To this end OSPAR’s biodiversity experts collaborate with OSPAR’s eutrophication modelling experts in this project. The EU-funded project is a collaboration of 8 partners from 5 Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

Project Objective

NEA PANACEA develops new indicators, improves existing ones (data flow, geographical coverage, operability) and works on the development of threshold values.

In addition, the project delivers integrated assessments that combine the results from several indicators at ecosystem component level (e.g. marine birds). This aids in interpreting outcomes in the light of pressure assessments (e.g. eutrophication), furthering the aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to assess the marine environment holistically.

EU member states in the North East Atlantic region can use NEA PANACEA’s assessments to inform their reporting for the EU MSFD.

Rijkswaterstaat as connector

The project shows that, even on the international stage, Rijkswaterstaat is a strong connector and a partner that can be relied on in the context of the EU and OSPAR. The project contributes to connecting two thematic areas that are important to RWS: nature and (sustainable) joint use of the marine environment by humans.

Project period

2021 - 2023

European programme

Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) and The Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2020

Project website



University of Plymouth, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), AquaEcology GrnbH & Co. KG, Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB), BioConsult Schuchardt & Scholle GbR (BioConsult) (German), JNCC Support Co (JNCC) and Instituto Español de Oceanografia (lEO).

Project website