How was it developed?
The guide "Marine spatial planning: A step-by-step approach toward ecosystem-based management" has been developed between November 2007 and May 2009. The proposed steps of the guide are based on real world practices with marine spatial planning from all around the globe. Draft texts of the guide have been reviewed during three review meetings and fine-tuned in two geographies.
Analysis of good practice with marine spatial planning
The steps proposed in the guide are largely based on the analysis of actual marine spatial planning initiatives from around the world. At least 10 international examples of marine spatial planning, at different stages of development, were being analyzed and documented.
This work allowed to extract necessary and fundamental information about what has worked and what not when developing and implementing marine spatial planning. The analysis focused on what steps had been taken during the marine spatial planning process that have led to successful implementation.
Many good practices have been included in the guide to illustrate steps in the marine spatial planning process. They will also be made available on the good practice pages of this site by end May 2009. Some of the results of the analysis have also been made available through publications.
An indication of what is important (and what is not) will allow decision-makers and resource managers to better determine their priorities in implementing marine spatial planning that supports ecosystem-based management in marine areas and will help to identify additional measures to be taken through existing marine management activities.
Refining the guide through two "fine-tuning phases"
A draft text of the guide was refined through two "fine-tuning" meetings. The main purpose of the fine-tuning phase was to make sure that the proposed steps in the guide are clear, logical, and practical enough to be useful for the main target group, e.g., decision makers and resource managers around the world. The fine-tuning phase consisted of face-to-face meetings with resource managers and decision makers (and their planning team) during which the different sections of the guide were discussed and evaluated on their clarity, practicality, and applicability. One fine-tuning phase was conducted in a developed country, another in a developed country. This allowed to make sure the guide was useful for both contexts.
The first fine-tuning meeting was held in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States of America, from 13-17 October 2008. Massachusetts recently passed an Oceans Act requiring the development of an integrated management plan for its marine waters by end 2009. Since Massachusetts is currently in the process of developing an integrated management plan with considerable spatial components, it was decided that valuable results could be expected to incorporate in the guide.
Meetings were organized in small groups with relevant staff members at the Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, and the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership.
A second fine-tuning meeting was held in two locations, Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, from 1-8 April 2009. Viet Nam recently established the Vietnamese Administration of Seas and Islands (VASI) that is responsible for sea use management and marine spatial planning.
Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, has been chosen for this fine-tuning because of the numerous threats that are posed to the conservation of the area, and the wealth of human uses taking place in the area. The Vietnamese government has identified long-term conservation and sustainable management of the seas and islands and other coastal ecosystems as one of the top priorities and VASI has been appointed to manage the coast, sea, and island use. Ha Long Bay is also designated as a World Heritage site for its outside global values.
Meetings were organized with relevant staff members of VASI in Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay management department, Ha Long Bay City, to discuss and fine-tune the draft text of the marine spatial management step-by-step approach. The meeting in Hanoi was planned from 1-3 April 2009. The meeting in Ha Long Bay was planned from 6-8 April 2009.
Reviewing the guide through expert meetings
Three review meetings were held with marine scientists and managers at UNESCO's Headquarters in Paris, France. The first review meeting was held from 18-20 March 2008. The goal of the first review meeting was to set the stage for the development of the step-by-step approach for marine spatial planning. The focus was on in depth discussions with participants to learn from their insights and practical experience about what concepts, frameworks, principles, steps and approaches should be part of a guide for marine spatial planning.
The second review meeting was held from 15-16 September 2008. The aim of the second review meeting was to evaluate and refine the first general draft of the step-by-step approach for marine spatial planning. The discussion focussed on identification of gaps, the logical sequence of the guide, whether or not the proposed steps in the guide are practical enough to be used by resource managers, and where examples of good practices could be used to illustrate proposed steps of the guide.
The third review meeting will be held from 27-28 April 2009. The aim of the final review meeting is to go through the draft of the guide to modify, where necessary, the proposed steps.
Participants for these meetings included planners, practitioners, and scientists (social scientists and natural scientists). Participants were chosen for their practical and long-term experience with developing and implementing marine spatial planning. Experts who participated include Jeff Ardron, Jon Day, Paul Gilliland, Jihyun Lee, Patrick McConney, Leslie-Ann McGee, Chu Hoi Nguyen, Elliott Norse, Eric Olsen, Robert Pomeroy, Kery Turner, Bernadette O'Neil, An Vanhullen, Ole Vestegaard, and Leo de Vrees.
Comments and suggestions were also sought from other experts around the world. Meg Caldwell, Sarah Chasis, Gleb Herbert, Richard Kenchington, Deerin Babb-Brott, and Nico Nolte reviewed and contributed to the final text of the guide.
Last updated: 15 November 2012