17 June 2020
By Dr Matt Fortnam, University of Exeter 

Marine planning seeks to reconcile multiple objectives and sectoral interests to conserve marine biodiversity and maintain healthy coastal marine ecosystems while, at the same time, meet the materials needs and aspirations of people. 

Programmes and projects often promise to benefit those in need while simultaneously delivering global biodiversity benefits. However, mounting evidence has shown that such win-wins are elusive.

Existing trade-off decision making tools are effective at capturing some of the ecological trade-offs, and provide a way to avoid conflict amongst and optimise benefits for sectors or stakeholders. In Project 9, we are going a step further by developing a participatory tool to support marine planners consider issues of equity in their decision-making by understanding the cultural, ethical, political and ecological acceptability of proposed policies and interventions, and develop options for mitigating or avoiding their consequences.
A supplementary GCRF Global Impact Acceleration Account project consulted with marine planning technical staff at international and regional organisations in SE Asia about the trade-offs they face in their work and current approaches and needs for analysing and dealing with trade-offs. Using insights from this work, a protype tool has been designed with pilots planned later this year in the Blue Communities case studies.

Project 9 introduction

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