A flood of space: Towards a spatial structure plan for sustainable management of the North Sea

Abstract: 

This book is a reflection of the spatial-analytical and design aspects of the GAUFRE report “Towards a Spatial Structure Plan for Sustainable Management of the Sea”.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
2005
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Data
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Social aspects
Stakeholders
Type of practice: 
Handbook
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Stocktake
Develop and implement plan

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What science and information is available to inform MSP in Belgium?
  • What are the recommendations arising from the GAUFRE project for MSP?
  • What issues are to be considered in MSP in Belgium?

Implementation Context

GAUFRE brought together four partners to introduce a first proposal for optimal space use planning for the Belgian part of the North Sea. The project involved three research teams of the University of Gent (the Maritime Institute, the Center for Marine Geology and the Section of Marine Biology) that cooperated during 2003 and 2004, together with the private company Ecolas nv. The GAUFRE-project fits within the framework of the Mixed Actions of the SPSD-II research action of the Belgian Science Policy.

The scope of the project goes beyond the mere result of a framework for optimal space use planning. It is also aiming at a specific methodology in which both interdisciplinarity, multi-functionality as well as public participation are dealt with. The first proposal for a space use plan is meant to be discussed within a societal debate with scientists, users, policy makers, and the public.

This book presents the outputs of the GAUFRE project.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Synthesise the scientific knowledge about the use and the possible impact of different activities in the Belgian part of the North Sea.
  • Develop a spatial structure plan of the Belgian part of the North Sea.
  • Identify issues of conflict and measures for resolution.
  • Provide guidance for the subsequent development of MSP in Belgium.

Method

The major focus was on the development of a specific methodology for spatial planning at sea with emphasis on interdisciplinary and public participation. In the course of the project, two workshops were organised – one involved international experts and another dealt with stakeholders that are directly involved as actors in the process (both policymakers and the public).

Main Outputs / Results

Report online at: http://www.belspo.be/belspo/organisation/publ/pub_ostc/MA/GaufreZVR_en.pdf

Transferability

The project focussed on the Belgian area of the North Sea and however, information will also be relevant to other North Sea countries.

Contact Person

Prof. dr. Frank Maes

Faculty of Law,  Ghent University

Head of the Department of European, Public and International Law (EPIL)

Director Maritime Institute

Visiting address: Volderstraat 3, B 9000 Gent

Postal address: Universiteitstraat 6, B 9000 Gent

Tel. + 32 9 2646895

Responsible Entity

University of Gent

Costs / Funding Source

The project was financed by the Federal Science Policy in the programme "Second Multiannual Scientific Support Plan for a Sustainable Development  Policy – SPSD II: Global Change, Ecosystems and Biodiversity - Mixed Actions"

 

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