Improved transdisciplinary science for effective ecosystem-based maritime spatial planning and conservation in European Seas
The diversity of terrestrial and marine life is dramatically affected by human interventions including climate change. A compelling growing evidence shows that biodiversity is the basis for ecosystem functions and services and consequently for human benefits depending on those. Thus the importance of ecosystem biodiversity cannot be underestimated calling for an effective management of marine activities and a sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.
Maritime spatial planning (MSP) is the main governance process that ideally balances economic, ecological and socio-cultural goals through the regulation of human uses at sea. With the global and regional conservation and green energy targets ahead, there is an urgent need to define pathways for a better alignment of MSP and strategic conservation planning, hence the operationalisation of an ecosystem approach to MSP.
The EU-funded project MarinePlan supports the implementation of ecosystem-based MSP through the development of a decision support system. It will offer guidance for an improved alignment of MSP, spatial conservation and restoration measures during the challenging times of ever-increasing pressures on marine ecosystems.