FATE is the ensemble name for the pool of activities related to the assessment of fate and impacts of pollutants in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems carried out at the Institute for Environment and Sustainibility (IES) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).


Where do pollutants go?

 

PollutantsContaminants spread across different environmental media through atmospheric deposition, leaching from soil to groundwater, accumulation in rivers and lakes, and discharge into the sea.

Understanding the fate and impact of pollutants on the terrestrial/aquatic interface is the core objective of FATE.

Main geographical focus of our assessment is continental Europe.

Support to policy makers.

 

FATE supports the implementation and evaluation of various European environmental Directives, EU Thematic Strategies and International Conventions:

     

 

Fate SchemaThe understanding of the fate and impact of pollutants on the functioning of the terrestrial/aquatic interface is a scientific challenge that requires a combination of several disciplines, tools and datasets.

FATE aims at answering policy questions arising from a number of environmental Directives, EU Thematic Strategies and International Conventions.

FATE provides the support to the implementation and evaluation of various European environmental Directives including:

  • Water Framework Directive,
  • Marine Strategy Framework Directive,
  • Nitrates Directive,
  • Plant Protection Products Directive,
  • Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
  • Framework Directive on Sustainable use of pesticides,
  • Drinking Water Directive,
  • Stockholm Convention on POPs, etc.
Approach

The adopted tiered approach links modelling and monitoring for a multiscale impact assessment in a risk-based framework.

ApproachFATE addresses the fate and impacts of pollutants across a range of temporal and spatial scales depending on the policy question and making the best use of available data. The results are pollution risk and vulnerability maps, which are very useful to assess the impact of EU policies, raise public awareness and facilitate planning of management scenarios.

  • At the scale of continental Europe the focus is on identifying “hot spots“, spatial trends and general pathways of pollutants
  • At the catchment/coastal zone scale the interest is more on the apportionment of mass inventories and aggregated in and out fluxes
  • At local scale the assessment  of ecosystem exposure to potential pollutant risks is important for decision-makers in order to evaluate impacts of management strategies.

 

Contact

Giovanni Bidoglio

Giovanni.Bidoglio(at)jrc.ec.europa.eu