AMP Toolbox


In general, three types of uncertainties in future developments can be distinguished: natural, social and technological (Haasnoot et al., 2013). In the field of sustainable marine development, these include the following factors:

Natural uncertainties:
  • Lack of long- term(50 years) data series on marine ecosystems
  • Knowledge gaps in complex ecological interactions between species and between species and their marine environment
  • Spatial and temporal variability
  • Lack of knowledge on the interaction between terrestrial and marine ecosystems
  • Possible incremental and changing expansion patterns of invasive species

Social uncertainties:
  • Lack of knowledge on future evolution of socio-economic drivers and pressures, and their interaction with the marine environment (e.g. growth of fishing sector, effects of marine protected areas, etc.)
  • Change of social values (value attributed to ecosystem services)
  • Future policy responses
  • Societal/stakeholder support in the near and distant future
  • Specifically in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: political instability and uncertainty about development of non-EU countries bordering the respective seas 

Technological uncertainties:
  • Uncertainties in models
  • Faulty documentation/measurement of indicators on ecological status
  • Oversimplification, model incompleteness or lack of understanding of interaction to be modeled