chapter  B1
19 Pages

AWARE

Bridging the knowledge of citizens, scientists and policy-makers for sustainable water ecosystems management
WithCarlo Sessa

In response to the continuing deterioration of coastal waters in Europe, a number of policy and research initiatives are being undertaken. The EU Water Framework Directive is built around the core objective of securing good ecological status of waters across Europe and aims to guide policy action at the EU and local level. At the same time, a number of research projects are funded by the EU with the aim to help reduce deterioration of coastal waters. The AWARE project has developed and tested a new way of connecting scientists, citizens and policy-makers to enhance the effectiveness of their participation and cooperation in the water science and policy assessment process. In this chapter we describe our experience with the pilot testing of this knowledge brokerage approach realized at the EU and local level. We engaged a randomly selected panel of 30 citizens, a team of scientists, as well as stakeholders and decision-makers in a comparative assessment of water quality and ecosystems research and policy issues in three coastal areas of Europe.