NEAT (Nested Environmental Status Assessment) is an integrative methodological tool, which has been developed in the framework of the FP7 EU Project DEVOTES, coordinated by Dr. Angel Borja, AZTI – Tecnalia, Pasaia (Spain), and is being used to assess different ecosystem components and geographical areas.
The tool uses a combination of high-level integration of habitats and spatial units and an averaging approach, allowing for specification on structural and spatial levels, applicable to any geographical scale. The analysis provides an overall assessment for each case study area and a separate assessment for each of the ecosystem components included in the assessment.
In the frame of the European Project ENV.C2-MEDCIS (http://medcis.eu), coordinated by the IO, the NEAT was applied to assess the environmental status of the marine ecosystems, under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). To this direction, the IO applied the NEAT to Saronikos Gulf, by testing different spatial assessment units, ecological components and indices in the software. The application of NEAT in Saronikos Gulf showed that NEAT tools can be applied for the assessment of the environmental status of the Hellenic coastal marine environments (Pavlidou et al., 2019).
Borja, A., Elliott, M., Andersen, J.H., Berg, T., Carstensen, J., Halpern, S., et al., 2016a. Overview of integrative assessment of marine systems: the ecosystem approach in practice. Frontiers in Marine Science,3: 20.doi:10.3389/fmars.2016. 00020.
Pavlidou, A., N. Simboura, Κ. Pagou, G. Assimakopoulou, V. Gerakaris, I. Hatzianestis, P. Panayotidis, M. Pantazi, N. Papadopoulou, S. Reizopoulou, C. Smith, M. Triantaphyllou, M. C. Uyarra, I. Varkitzi, V. Vassilopoulou, C. Zeri, and Á. Borja, 2019. Using a holistic ecosystem-integrated approach to assess the environmental status of Saronikos Gulf, Eastern Mediterranean. Ecological Indicators, 96: 336-350