ICES Annual Science Conference 2024

Theme session I

Accounting for climate change in Marine Spatial Planning: Experiences and lessons learnt
​​​Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a process that aims to organize and manage various human activities in marine and coastal areas to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives. Climate change can have significant impacts on MSP, as it alters marine ecosystems and poses new challenges for sustainable marine management. 

Countries are increasing their efforts at mitigating and adapting to climate change, affecting MSP practices both directly and indirectly. In Europe, offshore renewables are currently experiencing substantial expansion, which is leading to changing patterns of sea use and freshly contentious debates on which use should be given priority. There are also questions surrounding the certainty of data and information, time scales of expected climate change impacts, and shifting societal preferences with respect to different ocean uses. 

In this session we seek to draw insights from multiple case studies, research, and practical experiences to provide a comprehensive analysis of how consideration of climate change (adaptation and mitigation) is changing MSP practices at multiple scales. The questions we are asking, are: 
  • What tools and processes are being employed in different places and at different scales to anticipate and adapt to the expected impacts of climate change? 
  • Is climate change adaptation mostly viewed as a challenge or also as an opportunity for MSP, e.g. for more inclusive processes or broader sustainability transformation? 
  • Can shifting power dynamics be observed, and how are these affecting stakeholder processes? 

We invite contributions on subtopics such as process, engagement, multiuse conflicts, offshore wind, restoration, and transformation. The findings will be synthesized in a group discussion and combined with the findings of MSPglobal workshops to inform a joint UNESCO-IOC/European Commission publication on climate-smart MSP.
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Kira Gee (Germany)
Talya ten Brinck (US)​
Michele Quesada da Silva ​(Netherlands)​
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Theme session I

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