ICES Annual Science Conference 2018

Theme session C

Assessing and analysing marine spatial planning - knowledge - indicators - visions

​​Supported by EU policy, marine spatial planning (MSP) has become the tool of choice for many countries in implementing both sustainable maritime development and ecosystem-based management. With many countries already applying MSP and others well on track with national MSP programmes, this is a good time to take stock of MSP developments and question its current ambitions and successes. Questions must be asked regarding its ultimate objectives, for example how it is linked to an ecosystem approach to management, how it might facilitate blue growth and promote ecological sustainability, and how it contributes to more inclusive and participatory maritime governance.

This session aims to open up perspectives on both marine spatial planning and integrated coastal management (ICM) from a critical systems perspective, asking how MSP is conceived (visions), what knowledge it draws on (inclusiveness), and how progress and success in MSP could be measured and assessed (indicators and evaluation). A key focus will be on indicators, including both natural and social science rationales, and looking at existing approaches as well as gaps. The session also invites contributions reflecting on MSP at a meta-level, considering its nature and where and how it needs to be broadened for sustainable management of the seas. 

Presentations could focus on:

  • Past, present, and future visions: Is MSP on the right track from a systems perspective?
  • Evaluation of MSP and ICM, including reflections on what evaluation might imply
  • Indicators in light of different MSP visions – what is the role of indicators, and what type are needed/available
  • Indicators in the context of cumulative impact analyses and the couplings between different activities and sea and land
    Indicators for vulnerability assessments and risk analysis
  • New theoretical perspectives on what MSP is and could be with inspirations from critical theory, planning theory, geography, human ecology 
This session is jointly arranged by the ICES Working Group for Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM), which is also involved in a number of other scientific workshops and conferences. In 2018, there will be a number of initiatives in the Baltic and North Sea areas, whose financers will be eager to share the results with colleagues from other marine basins. With its transatlantic perspective, ICES offers a great forum for this type of exchange.
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Conveners​: 
Andrea Morf (Sweden)
Kira Gee (Germany)
Riku Varjopuro (Finland)
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Theme session C

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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