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NIVA Denmark Water Research carries out applied research supporting evidence-based implementation and reporting of the MSFD and WFD as well as other directives. Focus is on development of indicators and innovative assessment tools in regard to key environmental problems in aquatic environments. Currently, our tool box addresses ‘biodiversity’, ‘eutrophication’, ‘contamination’, ‘marine litter’, ‘ecosystem health’ and mapping of so-called ‘cumulative impacts’ and all individual tools are state-of-the-art and widely used.

Below is a selection of projects and activities in which NIVA Denmark Water Research is involved:

  • AquaSYNC (2022-2026) – a research partnership consisting of NIVA (lead), Aarhus University (ECOS-AU) and the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment (SIME-UGOT) focusing on synthesis research in aquatic ecosystem – read more at AquaSYNC’s website.
  • DEVOTES (2014-2016) – “DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status”, an EU FP9 project.
  • ECOMAR (2018-2021)– a development and demonstration project focusing on data-driven ecosystem-based maritime spatial planning – see the results in the ECOMAR synthesis report and read about the data used in the Supplementary Material.
  • ETC BE (2022-2026) – international cooperation with the European Environment Agency, with the aim of improving European biodiversity and its ecosystems.
  • ETC ICM (2015-ongoing) – NIVA is a partner in the European Environment Agency’s Topic Centre on Water and has led and/or contributed to numerous thematic assessments and developed and applied a broad range of multi-metric indicator-based assessment tools, e.g. in relation to ‘ecosystem health’ and ‘marine litter’. Read about our work in ‘Marine Messages II‘ and at the ETC ICM’s website.
  • GES4SEAS(2022-2026) – a Horizon Europe project (lead: AZTI, Spain) focusing on a new innovative toolbox for mapping and analyses of potential cumulative effects of multiple human pressures in marine waters. A link to the project’s website will be provided at a later stage.
  • MONIS (2014-ongoing) – a series of projects with focus on monitoring of non-indigenous species i Danish marine waters, including development, testing and application of species-specific eDNA-based monitoring methods. Read about the MONIS strategy, the technical guidance for eDNA-based monitoring and how the MONIS data have supported a national synthesis on occurrence of  non-indigenous species in Danish waters.
  • OBAMA-NEXT (2022-present) – aims to develop a toolbox for generating accurate, precise and relevant information characterizing marine ecosystems and their biodiversity. Link to page pending.
  • WATERS (2014-ongoing) – “Research into assessment criteria for the classification of ecological water status”.


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