The MSPglobal Initiative took part in the All-Atlantic Summit 2020 organized online between 5 and 9 October 2020 under the theme “Innovation for Sustainable Marine Development and the Blue Economy”.
The Summit was divided into parallel sessions focusing on the Atlantic International Research Centre’s (AIR Centre) thematic missions:
- Clean and Productive Coasts, Bays and Estuaries (6 October)
- Resilience to Coastal Natural Hazards (7 October)
- Sustainable Food Production and Improved Resource Management of Oceans, Coasts and Marine Systems (8 October)
- Improved Environmental and Maritime Security (9 October)
The MSPglobal Initiative participated in the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) panel of 6 October dedicated to “Clean and Productive Coasts, Bays and Estuaries”, opening the session with a presentation on the ecosystem-based approach concept, the role of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in promoting ecosystem-based MSP processes through MSPglobal and the MSProadmap, as well as the status of MSP worldwide.
The panel also included the participation of Juan Ronco from the European Commission, Marta Vergílio from the University of the Azores (Portugal), Tammy Warren from the Government of Bermuda and Mandy Lombard from the Nelson Mandela University (South Africa).
Juan Ronco explained the status of MSP in the European Union and the potential contributions of MSP and Blue Economy to the European Green Deal.
From this European context to a cross-border example, Marta Vergílio from the University of the Azores presented the MarSP case study on participatory scenario building and cross-border cooperation in the outermost regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira) and Spain (Canary Islands).
Tammy Warren from the Government of Bermuda spoke about the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme, which is using two different GIS tools (one computer based and another for mobiles) to identify stakeholder knowledge about the use and value of the ocean space to support the development of a national MSP plan.
Closing the speakers’ presentations, Mandy Lombard from the Nelson Mandela University talked about the Algoa Bay Project, which is using the concept of socio-ecological systems and the method of system dynamics model to explore the positive and negative impacts of different types of policy interventions.
During the discussion with the audience, the speakers had the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge about different MSP topics, such as:
- Multi-uses of the seas
- How some MSP objectives are at the same time economic, environmental and social (e.g., investment in maritime renewable energy to minimize climate change)
- Defining planning boundaries according to administrative level competences
- The role of maritime cluster in promoting the Sustainable Blue Economy and MSP