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Laura Friedrich

Programme Officer | Conserving Land and Seascapes

Laura is part of a team working on various aspects of sustainable ocean governance. Her particular focus is on projects that aim to help countries transition to a sustainable blue economy. Laura also leads the Centre’s work on ocean accounting, supporting international efforts towards standardised ecosystem accounts for marine and coastal ecosystems and assets.

Laura has strong expertise on ecosystem services, marine policy and area-based management approaches, and ecosystem accounting. As an interdisciplinary scientist, Laura also has valuable expertise on social science methods and stakeholder engagement.

Previous experience & expertise

Laura joined us from the Centre for Marine Conservation and Policy Research at Plymouth University. There, she worked on various projects involving marine policy, marine spatial planning and ecosystem service assessments. One of these was the VALMER Project, which investigated how ecosystem service assessments can support marine spatial planning. In conjunction with this project, Laura completed a PhD exploring the role of ecosystem service assessments in facilitating marine stakeholder engagement. She also has an MSc in Marine Policy and Planning from Plymouth University, UK, and a postgraduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Recent work by Laura Friedrich

ODYSSEA (Operating a Network of Integrated Observatory Systems in the Mediterranean Sea) | Project Lead

ODYSSEA is building a platform of observing and forecasting systems for the Mediterranean Sea to inform decision-making. Laura is leading the development of a business strategy, and engagement with policy makers and ocean users in the region, to ensure the long-term sustainability and policy relevance of the ODYSSEA platform.

Experimental seagrass ecosystem accounts | Task lead

Laura led the development of experimental seagrass ecosystem accounts. In close consultation with European seagrass experts, a protocol for ecosystem extent and condition accounts was developed and piloted for seagrasses in Corsica and Gran Canaria. This project was part of the Centre’s work to advance marine natural capital accounts.

Global Manual on Ocean Statistics | Project Lead

UNEP-WCMC supported the UN Environment Programme in developing guidance for national governments to help them track progress against Sustainable Development Goal 14 ‘Life below water’. Laura led the work on identifying existing indicator methodologies for pollution, ecosystem-based management and marine protected area coverage, and developed step-by-step approaches for selected indicators.