Marine spatial planning: Lessons learned from the Portuguese debate

Abstract: 

This practice refers to a paper that presents and discusses legal, methodological and political frameworks for the development of the proposed Portuguese Marine Spatial Plan initiated in 2008. It considers lessons learned and is informed by discussions that have taken place since publication of the ‘Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving Common Principles in the EU’.

Country: 
Year: 
2010
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Yes
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Key words: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What is the state of the art as regards MSP processes in Portugal?
  • What is the experience and good practices that can be transferred to the Portuguese context?
  • Interaction between Integrated Coastal Management and the offshore sea  

Implementation Context

New goals are based on horizontal planning tools that cut across sea-related sectoral policies and support joined up policy making. It is in this context that Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) emerged as an essential process for sustainable decision making. The OSPAR Commission undertook an overview of national planning systems within its administrative boundaries, which confirmed spatial plans reduced conflicts. However, problems exist accessing good quality data and dealing with entrenched sectoral views. Furthermore, the transboundary nature of marine resources requires cooperation between neighbouring states. In 2006, Portugal developed a ‘National Sea Strategy’ that recognized the importance of developing its maritime space while valuing marine habitats and biodiversity.

MSP development of the Portuguese sea commenced in 2008 and findings have been evaluated on an on-going basis. They showed adaptation of existing tools to be possible and desirable, provided undertaken cautiously and found conceptual ambiguities were barriers to conflict resolution. Furthermore they showed management strategies should be designed and analysed on a case by case basis, recognising temporal and spatial variations

Aspects / Objectives

The objective of the paper is to show and discuss discusses legal, methodological and political frameworks for the development of the proposed Portuguese Marine Spatial Plan initiated in 2008.

Furthermore, the paper also aims at considering lessons learned in the past and import experiences from other contexts and territories.

Main Outputs / Results

The actual output is the production of the paper Marine spatial planning: Lessons learned from the Portuguese debate. This paper offered at the time a first entry information point on MSP in Portugal, setting up the regulatory framework and bringing in information about experiences and practices in other European Member States.

Contact Person

Authors of the paper were:

Calado, H.
Ng, K.
Johnson, D.
Sousa, L.
Phillips, M.
Alves, F.

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