Marine Spatial Planning
If we build a shared understanding of the importance of our marine resources we can create a vision for our future
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a strategic way of improving decision-making and delivering an ecosystem approach to managing human activities in the marine environment. Despite the central role of human agency in these approaches, it is recognized that many times marine management has not been effective in part due to a failure to use all available sources of information and knowledge, particularly the local knowledge of the resources’ users.
EFFECTIVE MSP APPLICATION
The application of a comprehensive strategy using multiple sources of information to address complex socio-ecological problems is essential for effective MSP. Many countries lack capacity at the national level to provide practical support for an ecosystem approach to marine resource management; thus interventions targeted at building and enhancing networking and linkages are needed to strengthen marine governance in the Caribbean.
MSP requires a framework that can accommodate a diversity of multi-disciplinary data and ecosystem-based information in an accessible format that can serve to improve stakeholder understanding and involvement in decision-making.
I apply a participatory framework and mixed methods approaches to allow for the collaborative development of locally-relevant marine and spatial information for MSP initiatives.
This process allows for appropriate stakeholder engagement, two-way learning and ultimately builds our capacity to meaningfully participate in environmental management.
An effective participatory framework for stakeholder engagement not only results in more comprehensive understanding of functional natural resource information, but it strengthens partnerships so that planning priorities can be better focused and effective resource management, including the sustainability of livelihoods, is possible.
Spatial analysis: visualization & decision-making tools
Spatial analysis can be applied to produce relevant ecosystem-based information and support informed decision making. GIS allows for the integration of data layers to help explore patterns that occur between and among habitats and resources, the relationships between the resource users and the development and evaluation of trade-offs and scenarios to determine the spatial allocation of the sea in a way that maximizes societal benefits and mitigates possible conflicts.
Marine Spatial Planning uses GIS as a tool to
- Integrate & visualize information
- Map habitat, resources and space-uses
- Engage stakeholders
- Make information understandable & accessible
- Develop scenarios & evaluate trade-offs in decision-making
Marine Spatial Planning Projects
MSP can be applied from the scale of a bay, island, country or region.