Cross-sector integration

Main Issues: 

Because MSP is per definition multi-sectoral, a potentially large number of managers, stakeholders and policy-makers is involved. Each of these is most likely accustomed to operate on his own (i.e. within specific sectors). Successful MSP however, means getting all the actors to communicate and work together in an integrated way. Integration in this respect refers to crossing boundaries at the professional, physical, institutional as well as administrative level.

To develop the appropriate measures in an integrated (ecosystem-based) MSP setting, the integration of concerns and interests mainly takes place across sectors (horizontal integration), but also between governmental levels or between government and stakeholders (vertical integration). Integration is fundamental to MSP and especially important to pro-actively resolve spatial conflicts and for promoting spatial synergies.

Cross-sector integration implies adequate knowledge of the implications, requirements and planning criteria for the various individual sectors, which are elaborated under the topic MSP Sectors. Integration also encompasses the integration of stakeholder values and interests as well as integration of knowledge (different types of knowledge: e.g. scientific and local knowledge; sector-specific knowledge and rules). The topic of Cross-sector integration is therefore highly related to the topic Stakeholder involvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can one analyse the costs and benefits associated with a given set of maritime uses? 

Cross-sector integration implies good knowledge of the implication, requirements and planning criteria for collocation of sea uses. In particular it is important to analyse costs and benefits of different combination of uses in different circumstances (e.g. legal, oceanographic, economic etc.). There are several tools and guidelines assisting planners in this process. E.g. Individual Stress Level Analysis - ISLA quantifies the impact of future activities on the specific activity, E.g. it allows to estimate the effects of future management on fisheries based on the closure of fishing grounds. BONUS BALTSPACE project will elaborate the guidance how to use a tool to analyse the distribution of costs and benefits associated with a given set of maritime uses.

Also more comprehensive approaches do exist. The Latvian pilot plan provides a separate "Cost-benefit analysis for balancing sea use interests within the LV MSP process". The Seanergy 2020 project developed the study  “Cross-border MSP Case Study Benefits Assessment”; this shows how to evaluate the benefits of cross-border coordination of MSP, focusing in particular on offshore wind energy. Finally, Marine Planning: socio-economic study might help maritime planners, developers, local authorities and others to understand issues affecting coastal communities. It includes national level information and more detailed information for the East of England, also regarding parallel uses of the marine area and associated costs and benefits.

Even more can be expected  in the future. The HORIZON MUSES project is expected to: (i) elaborate a comprehensive overview of opportunities (analysing related benefits) for multi-uses in given sea-basins; (ii) analyse perceived and real barriers to various forms of co-uses across all sea basins, (iii) define a multi-level action plan recommending priority issues to be tackled to overcome those barriers and exploit such opportunities.

However, while looking for inspiration it is important to keep in mind that the  “one size approach fits all” should be avoided. In each case costs and benefits might look different. They depend of the level of development of a given area, stakeholder consciousness and even planning culture and experience. Thus they are context dependent.

What kind of tools are available to plan and manage the overlapping sea uses?

MSP seeks for win-win solutions. However, this is possible in exceptional cases only. More frequently spatial conflicts prevail. Different sea users compete for the same see space. For instance, fishing can be hampered by any solid construction in the sea but also by the same token by an intensive navigation, underwater cultural heritage or underwater pipelines and cables. However, the same uses can bring also synergetic effects since underwater constructions with time might become artificial reefs: an important place for fishes to shelter. Therefore it is so important to analyse possible spatial conflicts and discuss trade-offs that might require political decisions as a part of the MSP process. The departure point is usually the mapping of sea uses, facilitating visualization of possible conflicts (and synergies). The COEXIST project offers a good example of a tool for mapping of activities - past, present, and future. The dedicated GIS software helps to analyse and visualise information on the location of the current and planned activities. It addresses the following questions: ‘Do overlapping activities exist?’, ‘Where to expect conflicts?’ and ‘How does a specific management result in a change of conflicts?’. Geo reference Interactions Database – GRID elaborated under the same project is a web-based flexible database connected with a number of tools (stress level and conflict score analyses) to review marine activities and interactions (conflicts and synergies). Whereas the Web-GIS platform for implementing MSP in Greece and Cyprus might be helpful for visualising conflicting interactions (considering both maritime and land-based activities and uses) and deriving density activity maps and/or conflicts maps. There are also several tools that might help quantifying the overlapping uses and calculate conflicts scores and other indicators (e.g. including costs). Examples are numerous. “Analysis of Conflict Scores” (tool developed by the COEXIST project) supports a (semi-) quantitative conflict analysis and can answer some questions such as how does the conflict score change with management options or did a changed management result in a change of conflicts. “The conflict score tool” (developed by the Adriplan project) is based on above. It allows to quantify the overlapping of uses, calculating the direct spatial conflict score (in the current and future scenarios) based on the COEXIST methodology. The method includes five consecutive steps: (i) identification of maritime uses; (ii) spatial normalization of uses on hexagonal grid; (iii) setting of temporal and spatial attributes for each maritime use; (iv) calculation of the co-existence score per each pair of maritime uses insisting in the same cell of analysis; (v) calculation of the total coexistence score per each cell of analysis.

Individual Stress Level Analysis - ISLA also developed by the COEXIST project, quantifies the effects of future management options on concrete sea uses. Many pilot projects have also used the MARXAN software for planning new uses in a way that allows minimising spatial conflicts while achieving the agreed policy goals (e.g. on nature conservation, off-shore energy production or fishery). Results are available in the BaltSeaPlan project reports no. 29 and 30. The BONUS BALTSPACE project will elaborate further guidance on the application of MARXAN.

Are there samples available for written dispute resolution agreements? 

Maritime ecosystem forms a unique continuum hardly affected by administrative borders. Exploitations of some ecosystem services in one country and resulting from these negative externalities may affect societal wellbeing and the state of the sea environment in other countries. The influence varies. Oils spills might travel quite a long distance, solid construction might change the transfer of sediments and thus affects coastal dynamics far away from the place of its location whereas laying of pipelines might hamper international navigation and affect ships from outside of a given sea basin. Therefore some conflicts would benefit from a formal dispute resolution. Its preparation is not an easy task.

For instance in the Baltic Sea region the BaltSpace VISION 2030 endorsed by VASAB and HELCOM identified four topics required more intensive trans-boundary collaboration: offshore energy, fishery, nature conservation and navigation. Thus some Baltic Sea region countries several times have raised the questions of the need to establish some kind of a formal macro-regional agreement regulating those topics. Some preparatory work has been started under the international projects such as BalticLINES and BalticGrid. It is however, not clear whether they will results in some kind of a formal agreement or guidelines (good example of such recommendations is provided by Seanergy 2020 project).

Another form of formal resolution of international spatial conflicts is making use of existing international treaties and convention. For instance, Norway has managed to reroute the international navigation potentially jeopardizing the environmental integrity of its coastal waters through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) framework. However, there are also some good examples of bi-lateral and multi-lateral formal agreements of different nature and scale that help resolving some spatial conflicts. On a local scale one can study and follow the case of Wismar Bay. Through an intensive stakeholder process facilitated within the MSP framework tourism sector convinced the German nature protection authorities to allow the usage of the environmentally sensitive waters in the certain period of time. Sea tourists (mainly boat owners) subscribed themselves under the ban of not entering those sea areas in the time in which they are closed. At a larger national scale one can study the UK experience in preparing different types of agreements.  In UK wind developers and/or submarine cable companies and fishery industry representatives develop written agreements, such as Co-existence Plans (agreed-upon communication protocols; measures for avoidance, mitigation, and cooperation; and dispute resolution), Memoranda of Understanding (MOU; articulate goals for engaging with fishermen, for example, on routing cables in nonessential Fishery areas), and Statements of Common Ground (summarize discussions on areas of agreement and remaining/unresolved conflicts). Each form of conflicts resolution shows particular strength in different circumstances. For instance the Co-existence Plans are mainly linked to the offshore wind, WOC (World Ocean Council) or grid-nets while Memoranda of Understanding work well with regard to routing cables in non-essential Fishery areas with consent from fishermen.

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