Decision support tools which map human uses and nature conservation can assist in overcoming spatial planning problems in an integrated management way. Moving to a co-ordinated management approach to coastal and maritime areas ensures an efficient use of marine resources. Eight participants will meet at the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO) to address this area.
Participants will test the usefulness of the decision support tool Marxan to underpin and enhance the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) process in Europe. The objectives will be to compare the results and lessons learnt from applying Marxan to different spatial planning problems in different case studies, and to evaluate and guide the application of Marxan at European scale in support of conservation when implementing the MSFD. The Marxan output can help determine the choices of policy makers for sustainable management and protection of the marine ecosystem.
The main outcome will be a paper synthesising the main findings of the workshop. This will address the main challenges encountered across EU Member States and Associated Countries to implement MSP at local and regional levels, and whether Systematic Conservation Planning, in particular the decision support tool Marxan, can help to overcome these challenges. The outcomes will be useful for the local and European MSP process and for decision makers. This project will also contribute to up-to-date data, databases and useful GIS layers across participating organisations, which is in line with the need to manage maritime space stated in European legislation, as well as potentially contributing to the ADRIPLAN and DEVOTES projects.