Webinar on the role of data in Marine Spatial Planning

Webinar on the role of data in Marine Spatial Planning

Written by Pia Wiesner, Blue Solutions Initiative

On August 22, 2017, Blue Solutions hosted the webinar “Do Data or Desires Drive Marine Spatial Planning?” as part of the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet webinar series. We were pleased to have Tundi Agardy from Sound Seas and Forest Trends, Jon Day from James Cook University and Michelle Portman from Technion University on board as presenters for this session.

Our webinar addressed the widely debated role of data in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). We placed the focus on discussing how the scope and goals of MSP processes influence the need for data. In addition, the benefits and limitations of decision support tools were assessed. In a keynote presentation, Tundi Agardy introduced the reasons for undertaking MSP as well as potential challenges regarding the role of data in MSP processes. She opened the discussion by stressing that the goals of an MSP process should determine what kinds of data are needed.

Two solution providers from the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet platform then shared their practical experiences. Jon Day who can look back on 28 years of planning and managing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park presented multiple aspects and lessons learned from this pioneering MSP process in Australia. He recommended to work with the best available information, but not to wait for the perfect data for MSP, and emphasized the importance of public participation and an ecosystem-based management. Michelle Portman introduced the vision of the Israeli MSP process and two building blocks from her blue solution. She focused on the interactive GIS online tool ASDA that was used to engage the public in planning and managing Israel’s marine space.

181 attendees from 50 countries participated in the webinar and enriched the discussion with questions that were answered and debated by the speakers after their presentations.

You are welcome to listen to the recording of the webinar!

Find the featured blue solutions on the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet platform:


Coordinated multi-layered management for implementation of MSP across the GBR


Interactive and transparent approach in marine spatial planning