Needs for an operational science-policy mechanism in support of WFD monitoring? National and regional examples.

2008 Philippe Quevauviller, Bob Harris and Philippe Vervier; Chapter 10.1 in: The Water Framework Directive: Ecological and Chemical Status Monitoring ed by: Philippe Quevauviller et al., Wiley; ISBN 978-0-470-51836-6


Policy development and implementation represent one of the increasing challenges for the private sector, NGOs, citizen's associations and professional organisations, with pressure for scientific evidence regarding policy orientations, driving a more evidence-based approach, which requires a more sophisticated use of science. A number of "science-meets-policy" events has been held since 1998, reflecting an increased awareness of the need to improve the role that science plays in environmental policy-making. These events have highlighted a number of remaining challenges to be addressed in order to ensure that science makes a full contribution to the development and implementation of robust policies. The need to strengthen links among scientific outputs and policy-making activities and to better organise science-policy interactions is subject to on-going discussions in the water sector. One of the key conclusions of these discussions among scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders underlined the possibility to develop a conceptual framework for a science-policy interface related to water, which would gather various initiatives and knowledge. In this context, possible scenarios regarding integrated environmental science & policy interface have been recently proposed. The issue is complex in that in involves many different disciplines, sectors and interests, as well as technicalities such as standardisation and its links with research and policies. This chapter summarises on-going discussions related to the development of an operational science-policy interface, with focus on monitoring features covered by the WFD.