It’s getting crowded on the oceans! Fisheries, tourism, shipping, mining and energy generation are all competing for space in the marine and coastal environments, where rich and productive ecosystems and iconic species are already under pressure.
How can we bring together different management actions and goals? How can we support the effective and equitable use of space in the oceans? How can conservation and sustainable development go hand in hand? These were key questions a side event at CBD COP-13 in Cancún/Mexico looked at. The event was jointly organized by Blue Solutions and the Mami Wata Project looked at both funded by the German Environment Ministry (BMUB).
The side event provided an opportunity for delegates of the parties to the CBD Convention and marine experts to share knowledge and experiences on challenges and enabling factors of successful IOM and MSP approaches.
Corinne Martin (UNEP-WCMC) started the event off, presenting the findings of a study called ‘Marine Spatial Planning in Practice’ (coordinated by UNEP in cooperation with WCMC, GEF-STAP, Blue Solutions and other partners). It analyzed 73 case study of Marine Spatial Planning with the objective to distill the main constraints and the key enabling factors that managers experience when undertaking Marine Spatial Planning.
Three cases on practical MSP experiences were presented: Alan Boyd (Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa) introduced “Operation Phakisa”, a national MSP process in South Africa, Erick Ross (Science Manager at Marviva) presented two participatory MSP approaches from Costa Rica, and Peggy Turk shared her experiences on a bottom-up MSP process involving local communities and fishermen in the Gulf of California.
Participants of the side event had the opportunity to contribute with their experiences and to discuss practical challenges from their contexts with the speakers and the audience.
Independent of the region or scale of MSP processes, all speakers stressed the fact that an ample and inclusive stakeholder engagement is crucial to deliver successful planning and management of the marine realm, alongside a clearly mandated process, as well as adequate financial resources.