Immaterial cultural values associated with the sea tend to be neglected in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) despite the growing recognition of their importance. This is a consequence of a persistent evidence gap with respect to socio-cultural values and the subsequent failure of MSP to include such values in relevant assessments. In 2013 WKCES developed the concept of Culturally Significant Areas (CSA) to link socio-cultural values to specific places, thereby enabling an area-based approach to management (see Gee et al. 2017). One of the key elements of this approach is a risk assessment of areas that have been identified as culturally significant. Subjecting CSAs to a risk assessment could provide important added information to planners and managers, helping them to avoid developments that would negatively affect CSAs or detract from their essential qualities.
WKVCSA developed a conceptual framework for vulnerability and risk assessment of CSAs. Particular focus was on intangible cultural values, such as the practices and enactments, but also the tangible objects that equally contribute to the essence of a CSA. The central question for the workshop was what, exactly, poses a risk to what type of CSA, and how can the severity of such risks be evaluated?