Marine Spatial Planning- PhaseII


Following the successful completion of the Darwin-Plus funded Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) project in summer 2016, there was a desire to maintain the momentum this project generated, as well as utilise some of the tools and datasets developed. Falkland Islands Government (FIG) directed SAERI to undertake this second phase of the project (MSP Phase II) on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Fisheries.


MSP Phase II is composed of four key work packages:

1. Assessment of Fishing Closure Areas as Sites for marine management in the Falkland Islands (AFCAS);

2. A review to understand the current legislative gaps for implemention of MSP;

3. Draft a long-term strategy for the future of MSP in the Falkland Islands;

4. Stakeholder engagement and maintenance of MSP tools (GIS database, webGIS and webpage).

The project is scheduled to finish in July 2017.

The project is overseen by a dedicated Marine Spatial Planning Project Steering Committee (Terms of Reference available here) who meet at regular intervals. There is also a revised Marine Spatial Planning Stakeholder Group (Terms of Reference available here). You can follow this link to go to the download page where you can find documents for planned and past MSP Steering Committee meetings and MSP Stakeholder Group events.


Looking down over the Temporary Dock Facility (TDF) in Stanley Harbour and in the distance, Port William © Neil Golding, 2017

Work Package 1: The Assessment of Fishing Closure Areas as Sites for marine management in the Falkland Islands (AFCAS)

The first work package of the MSP II project looked to create a tangible output that demonstrated the benefits of the MSP tools developed through the first MSP project to local government, through a case study. This case study looked at assessing current fishing closure areas to see whether they could be considered as sites for wider marine management, known as AFCAS.

With the UK ratifying the Convention of Biological Diversity, and being extended to the Falklands in the summer of 2016, Falkland Islands Government (FIG) recognised the need to protect at least 10% of the Falklands coastal and marine area, in order to meet its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The AFCAS case-study, which assessed these fishing closure areas against international (IUCN) protected area criteria, demonstrated that with some small changes, such as specifically stating nature conservation objectives, FIG could use pre-existing permanent and temporary closures as sites for wider marine management, whilst also meeting some of its international protected area Aichi Targets.

The findings from the AFCAS case study were captured in a report. The report outlined potential Marine Management Areas (MMAs) that could be developed from existing fishing closures, as well as ideas on how these could be managed into the future. Some aspects contained within the AFCAS report had been discussed previously with stakeholders while other ideas hadn’t. Following sign-off of the pre-consultation version by the project Steering Committee, and discussion with the project Stakeholder Group, the AFCAS public consultation was launched on Wednesday 15th March 2017, and ran for nearly eight weeks, until Friday 5th May.

Following the public consultation, a post-consultation stakeholder workshop was held, partly to feed back the initial outcomes of the consultation to the MSP Stakeholder Group, but also to allow stakeholders to work through and identify what the next steps in the AFCAS case-study process may be. 

Looking out from Kidney Island, a national nature reserve and breeding site for up to 100,000 pairs of Sooty Shearwaters, as well as Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins © Neil Golding, 2017
Young Gentoo penguins, near Boat Point, East Falkland. © Neil Golding, 2017

Work Package 2: A review to understand the current legislative gaps to implement MSP

Cruise ship in Port William, just outside Stanley Harbour. The Falkland Islands has a thriving tourism industry with many cruise ships visiting the islands. © Neil Golding, 2017

One of the main elements for Marine Spatial Planning is the endorsement of clear policies by Government. The Darwin-Plus funded MSP project provided high level policies (the vision and objectives) that were agreed by the Executive Council, and there is now an opportunity to formalise these high end policies within Falkland Islands Government. To understand how MSP could be implemented from legal framework perspective, it is important to understand what current legislation exists with respect to the management of the marine environment.

Work Package 3: A long-term strategy for the future of Marine Spatial Planning in the Falkland Islands.

A short paper will be drafted outlining the future long-term strategy for the future of MSP in the Falklands. This work package is currently in progress, but come back here to find the latest updates.

Work Package 4: Stakeholder engagement and maintenance of MSP tools (GIS database, WebGIS and webpage).

Presenting the AFCAS proposals to stakeholders during a consultation public meeting in Stanley.

Stakeholder engagement is key to the success of the MSP II project. In light of this, a revised MSP Stakeholder Group has been formed and meets at regular intervals.

Following the public consultation process on the AFCAS proposals, the MSP Project Manager (Neil Golding) presented the outcomes of the consultation, including proposed revisions to the proposals, at the Rural Business Association (RBA) of the Falklands Farmers Week, in Stanley.

An important aspect of the project has been to maintain the Marine Spatial Planning webGIS, which was created as part of the original Darwin-Plus funded MSP project. As new layers are created as part of MSP II, they will be updated on the MSP WebGIS.

PO Box 609, Stanley Cottage North
Ross Road, Falkland Islands
Stanley, FIQQ 1ZZ
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UK Office: +44 (0)20 3745 1731
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