Ecosystem impacts of climate change and human activities are not evenly distributed across the marine environment, so management solutions need to be tailored to suit individual situations and scenarios.
It may be necessary in many circumstances to balance the mitigation of risks to biodiversity with socio-economic needs, and devise sustainable ways to manage and use marine resources. Area-based management refers to the integrated, sustainable, cross-sectoral management of human activities in a spatially defined area. Applied in the context of an ecosystem approach, area-based management provides tools to respond to multiple stressors and cumulative impacts.
Examples of area-based management tools (ABMT) include marine spatial planning (MSP), marine protected areas (MPAs), ecological networks, dynamic management measures, and ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ including indigenous, community and privately managed areas. ABMTs also include sectoral tools, such as closure of certain vulnerable areas to fishing, shipping or mining.
The ultimate aim of iAtlantic’s research is to be able to provide the necessary relevant information and tools to support competent authorities in the development of integrated, sustainable management decisions and practices at appropriate scales. To achieve this, iAtlantic will make its spatiotemporal data available to end-users via an open source, GIS-based GEONODE platform. We will add value by combining project data with existing biogeographic and human-use data to generate maps of how biodiversity and multiple stressors interact in the Atlantic, illustrating the current and future projected changes in status of Atlantic ecosystems throughout the Atlantic. Site prioritisation techniques will be used to identify zones where different management regimes can be applied, and planning scenarios will be generated to inform sustainable development strategies in the Atlantic. These tools will finally be correctly scaled and integrated across ecosystem measurements to facilitate Atlantic capacity for Marine Spatial Planning and to enable Blue Growth scenarios to be rapidly evaluated.
Explore the iAtlantic GEONODE site: www.geonode.iatlantic.eu
- Compile spatial and temporal information to produce a series of outputs illustrating the current and future projected changes in status of Atlantic ecosystems throughout the Atlantic;
- Apply site prioritisation techniques to identify zones where different management regimes can be applied;
- Generate planning scenarios to inform marine spatial planning and sustainable development in the Atlantic.
iAtlantic’s work on spatial and temporal management and protection is led by Dr Telmo Morato at Instituto do Mar, Azores, with the support of Dr Kate Larkin at Seascape Belgium.