Protecting Atlantic Ocean Ecosystems & Promoting Sustainable Development

Funded through Horizon 2020, the MISSION ATLANTIC Project will better our understanding of Atlantic Ocean ecosystems and drivers of change that impact marine biodiversity and ocean resources, through the development of the Integrated Ecosystems Assessments.

At A Glance


HORIZON 2020 (BG08-2019-2)

Type of Action

Research and Innovation Action


All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship


September 2020 – August 2025


33 partners in 14 countries


Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), Denmark

Total Budget

€11.5 Million

The Challenge

Sustainably managing ocean resources, is linked to our ability to assess and predict drivers of change, and the subsequent impact on marine ecosystems. These are extremely variable, subject to large uncertainties, with complex interconnectivities.

Addressing these challenges, MISSION ATLANTIC will support managers and policy makers to balance the need for environmental protection with sustainable development, and provide the necessary science to develop a novel narrative to secure a positive future for the Atlantic Ocean.


  • Assess ecosystems status and resilience, in the whole Atlantic Ocean, to the cumulative impact of food provision, climate regulation and cultural services.

  • Map the present and establish the future 3D distributions of Atlantic biomes and their pressures to support the sustainable use of marine resources.

  • Develop new indicators, tools and technologies to identify risks and vulnerabilities of the Atlantic Ocean under different climate conditions and management scenarios.

  • Formulate and transfer assessment guidelines, data and modelling tools into ecosystem-based management procedures to support sustainable governance of marine resources and the development of the Blue Economy.

  • Educate ocean resource managers and researchers in application of a systemic approach to ecosystem management (e.g. Integrated Ecosystem Assessment) with/in countries bordering the North, South and Tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Expected Impacts

Engaging scientists, marine resource and conservation managers, blue economy actors and policy makers in the IEA process, MISSION ATLANTIC’s integrated co-creation methodology will ensure uptake of project results that will:


Contribute to the implementation of the EU-Brazil-South Africa Belém Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation cooperation.


Contribute to better and more accurate monitoring, modelling, planning, management and prediction capacities in the whole Atlantic.


Develop ecosystem assessments and forecasts, and increase understanding of vulnerabilities and risks including climate change.

Blue Economy

Increase the competitiveness of the EU’s Blue Economy by contributing to the development of ecosystem services and improving the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the Blue Economy.


Increase EU leadership in ocean technology by developing new technologies to service societal needs and new value chains.

Policy Making

Contribute to the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN SDG 14) by contributing to policy making in research, innovation and technology.

Using Integrated Ecosystems Assessments to identify risks to Atlantic Ocean ecosystems.

IEAs work to develop management strategies that will allow humans to use ocean resources sustainably, ensuring there will still be resources in the future.

Our Work