Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) - What is it?
The marine environment is very important to the Falkland Islands and its inhabitants because the current main economic activities are marine-based (commercial fishing and tourism) and people are closely linked to it for cultural reasons. The economic activities entirely rely on a healthy marine environment where fish can reproduce and grow and where wildlife attracting the tourists can thrive. Therefore, there is an intimate connection between managing the marine environment and ensuring the Falklands’ economy is sustainable and people can enjoy their favourite coastal places, in the long-term future.
The image below represents these connections in the Falklands:
Amélie is a spatial ecologist who combines her original vocation in animal behaviour and conservation with her interests in spatio-temporal data. With a primary coastal and marine focus, she has applied a combination of field studies, GIS analyses and mapping, multi-disciplinary approaches and stakeholder engagement towards current management needs, highlighting the need for planning for future changes to prevent issues. She gained her PhD in Zoology in 2011 at the University of Otago. Her extensive fieldwork experience includes 5 summers in sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands working for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, and stints around New Zealand and Australia, in Canada, Madagascar and Peru working on sea lions, whales, penguins, skinks, dolphins, etc., and using a variety of methods such as satellite-tracking, diet sampling, boat-based photo-ID, or GPS and habitat mapping. After a 2-year postdoc at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Australia), where she worked with world experts in conservation planning for the Great Barrier Reef and its coastal zone and gained skills in that field (including stakeholder engagement expert elicitation and workshop facilitation).
The individual objectives of the 2-year MSP project are to:
A major prerequisite to enable coordinated and sustainable management of the marine environment, and to implement MSP, is understanding the spatial distribution of environmental, social and economic values, and of human activities, current and also future. The MSP team has been gathering, producing, transforming and classifying spatial data to create an MSP GIS database. This consists of a metadata catalogue describing the data and how it can be used for MSP, and of datasets, in the form of rasters and shapefiles (all in WGS84 UTM21S projected coordinate system). The datasets are classified as follow:
The metadata for the MSP GIS database can be downloaded as a snapshot below:
Metadata MSP GIS DATA 30-5-16
The Shetland Islands have been developing a Marine Spatial Plan since 2004. This is a great example to check out – Shetland Islands marine spatial planning:
Marine Scotland, the governmental unit in charge of coordinated sustainable management of Scottish waters:
UNESCO Marine Spatial Planning Initiative:
European Commission Maritime Affairs – MSP webpage:
UK Government – Marine planning factsheets:
The project ‘Marine Spatial Planning for the Falkland Islands’ was funded by Darwin Plus, in collaboration with the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) Environmental Studies Budget. This was a two-year project from July 2014 to June 2016. All the outputs from this project are available in the sections of this webpage.
This project has now ended