Marine spatial planning in the Nordic region

Principles, Perspectives and Opportunities - Outcomes from the Nordic Forum on MPAs in Marine Spatial Planning

image of Marine spatial planning in the Nordic region

Increasing demands on resources in the marine area are compromising the future viability of the marine environment and in recent years the need to pursue new approaches for a sustainable use of our seas has become clear. Marine spatial planning is widely considered a promising tool for the management and protection of the marine environment, offering an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to managing the multiple and potentially conflicting uses of the sea. The Nordic Forum on MPAs in Marine Spatial Planning” was established in 2006 with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers to synthesize and disseminate knowledge from Nordic MSP activities. The Nordic Forum also co-hosted the Nordic Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning, which brought together more than 100 researchers, managers, and NGO and industry representatives. This report presents experiences and views gained regarding key concepts of marine spatial planning in the Nordic region and beyond, the application of mapping and tools, and prospects and conflicts in relation to important maritime sectors, nature conservation and other interests.



Planning for uncertainty: A changing climate

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to the current and future changes in climate, and changes in the marine ecosystem have already been observed. As a result of changes in key atmospheric parameters, ocean water temperature will increase and there may be alterations to ocean chemistry (particularly the ability to absorb CO2 leading to acidification), changes in ocean circulation and currents, and changes in cloud cover and sea ice affecting light supply to the ocean surface. Furthermore, may there be changes in wind patterns and increased precipitation at high latitudes that will lead to more runoff from land to sea, which can cause eutrophication and oxygen depletion in coastal areas. All such changes can have a variety of effects on marine ecosystem functions and marine life, including the distribution of marine species and their robustness in relation to other sources of stress, as well as implications for human activities and utilization of marine resources


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