On 6 May 2020, the MSPglobal Initiative participated in a webinar on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) organized by the Brazilian network PainelMar in the context of their “Brazilian Ocean Horizon Program / Programa Horizonte Oceânico Brasileiro – HOB”. About 450 people watched live.
Michele Quesada da Silva, MSPglobal team member and Latin American representative in the MSPglobal Expert Group, explained the role of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) in promoting and supporting the implementation of MSP in its 150 Member States, as well as the priority actions of the MSProadmap, implemented through the MSPglobal Initiative and the MSPforum.
This webinar was an opportunity to expand the discussion on MSP to Brazilian civil society following the training course organized in São Paulo in December 2019 by IOC-UNESCO for Brazilian and Uruguayan officials within the framework of the MSProadmap and with the support of the Government Offices of Sweden.
The key message shared by MSPglobal during the PainelMar webinar was related to how MSP processes can support the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and not only SDG14 on “Life Below Water”. Indeed, MSP is not a set recipe and the outcomes of this public process will change in each country according to the context and decisions taken:
- SDG2 “Zero Hunger”: MSP may lead to a sustainable management of small-scale fisheries, maintaining their access to marine areas, as well as to the availability of seafood to current and future generations of traditional coastal communities.
- SDG5 “Gender Equality”: MSP may create opportunities to improve the role of women in decision-making related to the marine environment or in maritime industries. MSPglobal recently conducted an online event on this topic, with the participation of a Brazilian representative among the speakers.
- SDG13 “Climate Action”: MSP may integrate climate change measures, leading to a resilient marine environment able to reduce the exposure and vulnerability to climate change. One way to achieve this goal could be the adoption of actions to conserve and restore mangrove areas, which are known to provide protection to the coast as one of its ecosystem services.
- SDG16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”: MSP may strengthen democracy, governmental institutions and access to marine data and information when implemented through a participatory, representative and transparent decision-making process.
The audience acknowledged this wider perspective about the link between MSP and the 2030 Agenda. Among the 61 questions sent by attendees, the most voted were:
- How can we reconcile economic and sustainable interests during a MSP process? Which technical criteria could be used to manage and prioritize these interests?
- How can we take into account traditional knowledge, local realities and social justice in the MSP process?
- How is the public involved in MSP? How can Brazil take advantage of what has been done in councils for marine protected areas (MPAs)?