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Major challenges in developing marine spatial planning.

Abstract:

Planning for marine areas, from coastal to open-ocean regions, is being developed worldwide to foster sustainable ocean management and governance. Over the past decades, significant progress has been made by governments in their thinking about marine spatial planning (MSP). MSP is globally widespread and a topic of increasing importance in the scientific and policy realms. It is currently under development in almost 70 countries, encompassing six continents and four ocean basins. Despite its acceptance and use, development and implementation of MSP still faces a myriad of present and future, conceptual and practical challenges, some of them being more striking and widespread. Here, we highlight seven major challenges that need to be properly addressed so that MSP can truly contribute to a sustainable use of the world's oceans. These include, among others, shortcomings in political and institutional frameworks, stakeholder engagement, encompassing human and social dimensions in MSP, balancing economic development and marine ecosystem conservation, and adapting to global environmental change.

Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Yes
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

QUESTIONS THIS PRACTICE MAY HELP ANSWER:

  • What are the challenges to the long-term suitability and sustainability of MSP?

IMPLEMENTATION CONTEXT:

The study was conducted by researchers from Portugal, USA and France.

ASPECTS / OBJECTIVES:

The aim of the review is to highlight major challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the long-term suitability and sustainability of MSP.

METHOD:

The research included an extensive literature review.

MAIN OUTPUTS / RESULTS:

The study highlights seven major challenges that need to be properly addressed so that MSP can truly contribute to a sustainable use of the world's oceans. These include, among others, shortcomings in political and institutional frameworks, stakeholder engagement, encompassing human and social dimensions in MSP, balancing economic development and marine ecosystem conservation, and adapting to global environmental change.

TRANSFERABILITY:

Highlighted conceptual and practical challenges can be relevant to the development and implementation of MSP in various marine regions.

Responsible Entity:

MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Portugal.

Costs / Funding Source:

The study was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the strategic project granted to MARE and R&D project OCEANPLAN.

Contact persons:

C. Frazão Santos: cfsantosatfc.ul.pt (cfsantos[at]fc[dot]ul[dot]pt)

Tundi Agardy: tundiagardyatearthlink.net (tundiagardy[at]earthlink[dot]net)

Charles N. Ehler: charles.ehleratmac.com (charles[dot]ehler[at]mac[dot]com)

 

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