Integrating coastal management and Marine Spatial Planning: challenges and potential solutions

Taking place on 13 May 2020 with 144 participants (47% female; 53% male), the French session of the MSPglobal online seminar on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICAM) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) focused on sharing experiences from different countries and regions on the status of ICAM and MSP implementation, how to integrate both approaches when planning and the challenges and potential solutions to such integration.

The following experts shared their experience and views on the subject: Steve Plante from the University of Quebec at Rimouski (Canada), Alison Amoussou from the Abidjan Convention Secretariat (Côte d’Ivoire), Taibou Ba from the Ecological Monitoring Centre (Senegal) and Samir Grimes from the National School of Marine Science and Coastal Planning (Algeria).

The panel highlighted various key principles and actions to examine when implementing ICAM and MSP processes:

  • Differentiate between ICAM as a mode of management and as a mode of governance, and be wary of the illusion that ICAM is a panacea for all management issues;
  • Consider territorial dialogue and concerted management among local actors before starting the ICAM process;
  • Take into account the social sciences and existing local and traditional knowledge in addition to the natural sciences;
  • Encourage an adaptive and flexible approach throughout the planning process in order to facilitate the adoption and ownership of the plan by all relevant stakeholders;
  • The planning authority must be supported by an institution whose mandate is recognized by all stakeholders;
  • Create a legal framework to support the MSP process to ensure future acceptance of the management plan by all users of the marine space;
  • Adapt the MSP process to the context of the management area;
  • Mainstream within MSP processes the information generated from the identification of State of the Marine Environment (SoME) and Ecologically or Biologically Significant marine Areas (EBSAs).

Furthermore, to integrate the ICAM and MSP approaches when planning, the experts suggested to draw on the case of the Baltic Sea region to establish operational links between ICAM and MSP; develop business segment approaches (cluster, fora, channels, etc.) and ensure integration between segments; develop the entire value chain (economic and non-economic); adapt funding and regulatory approaches to implement MSP tools as well as develop capacity building activities.

Recommendations from both experts and participants included:

  • Encouraging participatory management;
  • Focusing on the goals previously defined while being flexible towards reaching them;
  • Ensuring the quality of the data collected;
  • Integrating uncertainty in the process;
  • Establishing appropriate communication channels between stakeholders;
  • Ensuring the participation of all relevant stakeholders;
  • Involving local communities, NGOs and actors directly impacted by the planning process.

The attending participants joined from over twenty different countries: Algeria, Ecuador, France (including oversea territories), Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Gabon, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Senegal, Togo and United States.

How to integrate ICAM and MSP
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