Identifying conservation priority areas to inform maritime spatial planning: A new approach

Accommodating sea uses while protecting the ecosystems is a challenge of the marine planning and management process. The European Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning calls for Maritime Spatial Plans until 2021 developed within an Ecosystem Based Management approach. The main goal of this study is to support the Maritime Spatial Planning process with ecological meaningful information, namely identifying priority areas for conservation that are facing less anthropogenic impacts. The authors developed a new approach for selection of high priority areas for conservation using Marxan software and Cumulative Impacts decision support tools. They identified four main areas prone to conservation in Portuguese mainland subdivision, namely the areas of Figueira da Foz/Peniche, south Cabo Espichel/Sines, Cabo Sardão/Faro and Lagos/Faro. The outputs from this study show the valuable input when allocating space to activities and uses in the marine realm supporting the planning process in the development of management alternatives. This case study also illustrates how ecological goals can be better included to contribute to the Maritime Planning process in Portugal. Systematic planning can be applied to support the connection between Marine Strategy Framework and Maritime Spatial Planning European Directives. This is highly relevant in the time being for Portugal, as the 2nd cycles of both directives are ongoing.


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  • Accession Number: 01679048
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2018 8:49PM