The MSPglobal Initiative is developing mapping exercises to characterize current conditions and develop potential scenarios in two transboundary areas: the Southeast Pacific and the West Mediterranean. Two meetings with the MSPglobal National Focal Points of both regions (21 October and 18 November 2020) provided an opportunity to present publicly these results for the first time.
The events included a session to share the work progress in both pilot projects of MSPglobal as well as to identify the synergies that the Project Team is creating with new initiatives co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union, such as the MSP-MED Project.
Firdaous Halim shared the results of the mapping exercise on current conditions to support the pre-planning phase of the marine space in the Western Mediterranean. She presented an overview of the state of the marine environment and its conservation and the results of the transboundary regional analysis of current maritime activities and uses taking place in the area.
This transboundary analysis revealed the emergence of conflicts between human activities and the environment as well as conflicts of uses between human activities. These conflicts are expected to increase because of the expected growth of maritime activities and uses (except for the fishing sector), hence the need to organize and plan the marine space in the West Mediterranean.
For the Southeast Pacific, Michele Quesada da Silva presented an overview of the same activity in the Gulf of Guayaquil, a cross-border bay shared by Ecuador and Peru, including the governance framework; environmental characterization; main maritime sectors; use-use and use-environment (in)compatibilities; as well as the main cross-border issues identified in the area.
She concluded with two key messages applicable to both pilots: i) not all conflicts and synergies are related to spatial use, some being a matter of management; and ii) transboundary issues are not about the use of the space itself but rather how national decisions about maritime activities on one side of the border can affect the other side of the border, as well as the good environmental status.
Cristina Cervera Núñez, Firdaous and Michele shared the three future scenarios for 2030 developed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, to be used to prepare regional recommendations for the adoption of a roadmap on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in each pilot project:
- A trend scenario where no integrated maritime policy has been implemented
- A conversationist scenario where the conservation of the marine space is the priority
- An integrated scenario where the integrated planning and management of the marine space will lead to the adoption of sustainable regional strategies for the Blue Economy and where priority will be given to the compatibility of uses in the marine environment
Pierpaolo Campostrini (CORILA, Italy), Coordinator of the MSP-MED project, and Niccolò Bassan, Italian MSP expert, presented the general concept and relevance of transboundary aspects in the Mediterranean basin. They highlighted other transboundary projects in the region, which were collaboratively developed by researchers and governmental representatives of European Member States. In fact, taking into account the new MSP-MED project launched in 2020, synergies can be established with MSPglobal to share this dialogue with non-EU Mediterranean states.
The two sessions gathered 120 participants from around 30 countries.