Theme session L

Integration challenges in maritime spatial planning: approaches, science gaps, and communication demands

Tuesday 20 September 17:00—18:00 in Omega 1
Wednesday 21 September 09:00—13:00 in Omega 1
Andreas Kannen (Germany) 
Matt Gubbins (UK) 
Michael Gilek (Sweden)​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Contact conveners

The EU has defined Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) as a mechanism for planning and regulating all human uses of the sea, while protecting marine ecosystems. Therefore, while the EU Maritime Spatial Planning directive is mainly oriented towards economic goals, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive can be seen as an additional tool which extends environmental policies further offshore. MSP is widely recognized as a form of marine governance delivered in partnership with a wide range of public, private, and voluntary sector​ organizations and proactive integrative planning processes are needed to prevent use conflicts, engage stakeholders, and build consensus.

Integration in MSP has a multidimensional character. These integration challenges encompass:

  • Horizontal integration across policies and sectors
    (Environmental policies and Blue Growth; Public, private and voluntary sector activities; public policy sectors, e.g. maritime transport, fisheries, tourism)
  • Multi-scale and transboundary (vertical) integration   (Integration of MSP across national borders; Integrating MSP and terrestrial planning; Increasing policy coherence and "fit", as well as commitment to integration)
  • Stakeholder integration
    (Stakeholder values, interests; Procedural aspects, e.g. access, legitimacy, power, timing, roles)
  • Integration of knowledge
    (Different types of knowledge, e.g. scientific knowledge and local knowledge; Risk and uncertainty analysis, sustainability assessments; Sector specific knowledge and rules; Integration of decision support tools in practical MSP processes)​

There is significant overlap between these four categories.

In order to support MSP processes, key scientific needs were identified in recent ICES working groups and workshops (listed on the right) in terms of vulnerability and ecological risk assessment tools with a focus on pressures and risks.

A significant product from ICES (in particular WGMPCZM and WKQAMSP) on MSP has been the Cooperative Research Report No. 327 Marine Spatial Planning Quality Management System , which provides a structured system of how to set up MSP processes linked with quality assurance criteria for the process as well as MSP outputs.

The aim of this session is to highlight current research on how to address the above mentioned integration challenges in relation to the Quality Assurance Management System and to stimulate cross-fertilization among disciplines, in particular social and natural sciences and in the wider ICES community. 

This theme session will consist of two parts. First, an interactive demonstration of the Marine Spatial Planning Quality Management System which will allow a step-by-step exchange of knowledge and ideas on the phases of the MSP process and the related quality management criteria between the main authors of the Cooperative Research Report and other participating experts.  Presentations and discussion will then further stimulate the knowledge exchange on new and innovative tools and approaches related to problems and risks in MSP. Particular focus should be on:

  • Approaches to assess and map risks (ecological, socio-economic and socio-cultural) arising from cumulative effects of multiple human activities
  • Approaches and examples to identify and map policy risks, needs and gaps with particular focus on multi-level and multi-sector approaches of policy and governance analysis
  • Approaches and tools to address conflicts in multi-use MSP cases with particular reference to related knowledge needs
  • Approaches to integrate social and cultural aspects in MSP such as Cultural Ecosystem Services

Papers are expected to show how they contribute to the Marine Spatial Planning Quality Management System and the integration challenges mentioned above. ​

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Theme session L

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