Major challenges in developing marine spatial planning

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 2:45pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: In Press
Authors: Catarina Santos, Tundi Agardy, Francisco Andrade, Larry Crowder, Charles Ehler, Michael Orbach
Journal title: Marine Policy
ISSN: 0308597X

Planning for marine areas, from coastal to open-ocean regions, is being developed worldwide to foster sustainable ocean management and governance. Over the past decades, significant progress has been made by governments in their thinking about marine spatial planning (MSP). MSP is globally widespread and a topic of increasing importance in the scientific and policy realms. It is currently under development in almost 70 countries, encompassing six continents and four ocean basins. Despite its acceptance and use, development and implementation of MSP still faces a myriad of present and future, conceptual and practical challenges, some of them being more striking and widespread. Here, we highlight seven major challenges that need to be properly addressed so that MSP can truly contribute to a sustainable use of the world's oceans. These include, among others, shortcomings in political and institutional frameworks, stakeholder engagement, encompassing human and social dimensions in MSP, balancing economic development and marine ecosystem conservation, and adapting to global environmental change.

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