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Meet the AQUACROSS team: Lina Röschel

January 18, 2018

Lina Röschel in Nova Scotia, Canada.

This week we’re delighted to publish the latest in our series of interviews with members of the EU AQUACROSS project. Lina Röschel works at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin as a Junior Researcher. Her work focuses on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem-based management of aquatic ecosystems.

On a side note, the MARS final conference took place in Brussels this week, and we’ll report back on discussions and outcomes in the coming weeks. You can see a collection of tweets from attendees here.

For now, over to Lina.

Freshwater Blog: What is your focus of your work in AQUACROSS, and why?

Lina Röschel: Within AQUACROSS, I am part of the team that provides policy orientation to all other working areas of the project. During the course of the project we have identified policies on the international, European and Member State level that are related to enhancing or hindering aquatic biodiversity protection, and have effectively examined the EU policy framework for coherence within this context.

Furthermore, we reviewed the synergies and barriers between these policies in order to identify how the different policies use the implementation of ecosystem-based management to enable aquatic biodiversity conservation. The next step for our team is to identify the major policies that negatively and positively affect aquatic biodiversity on the local level within AQUACROSS’ eight case studies. This will give insight on whether EU policies have successfully been implemented on the ground.

Why is your work important?

Our different levels of policy analysis help identify stress areas where the higher strategic policy level meets actual practitioners within our case studies. On the ground, things may look very different from what the EU level policies have anticipated. In order to support policy coordination and demand on the local level, it is important to identify these discrepancies.

What are the key challenges for aquatic management in Europe?

From a policy perspective, the challenge is clear – while a comprehensive set of policies is in place for achieving Europe’s objectives in terms of healthy aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, the policy landscape has been unable to reverse negative trends as significant gaps in policy and implementation remain. In addition, discrepancies between sectoral policies and those policies in place to ensure environmental protection need to be addressed to aim for coherence across the EU policy framework and to ensure the sustainable protection of aquatic biodiversity.

In response to these findings, we have identified the need to mainstream biodiversity protection into existing policy frameworks as well as promote the application of an ecosystem-based management approach to address the current challenges associated with implementing environmental policies. Specifically, ecosystem-based management can help to incorporate a variety of policy objectives in an integrative, holistic manner.

For further reading on this topic, please see these two recent publications written by our team here and here.


Policy review on EU level: inner and outer core of policies relevant for the achievement of targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (AQUACROSS, Deliverable 2.1)

Tell us about a memorable experience in your career.

In 2016, I was present for the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Seeing national representatives from over one hundred countries sign the book, one after the other, filled me with hope, as it illustrated the unity with which cross-border environmental issues need to be addressed.

What inspired you to work in biodiversity conservation?

Growing up, I watched my dad working as a physicist and the idea of creating and uncovering knowledge became unfathomably exciting to me. I have wanted to do nothing else since.

What are your plans and ambitions for your future work?

In the future I want to continue working within the field of biodiversity conservation, specifically within the marine realm. Furthermore, I think it is important to strive towards making scientific knowledge accessible to everyone.

The projects that I’m involved in aim for their results to have significant impact for general society and local businesses in addition to policy makers, so in the future I would like to focus more on successfully transferring knowledge beyond the standard of publishing results in academic journals and deliverables. This blog is a great example of achieving just that!

Read more interviews from the Meet the AQUACROSS team feature here.

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