MSP4BIO – successfully bringing together marine spatial planning and marine conservation

Ivana Stojanovic – S.Pro – Sustainable Projects GmbH

Hosted by the University of Cadiz, MSP4BIO partners gathered in one of its test sites in beautiful Cadiz, to discuss critical milestones achieved and next steps in project implementation. With a lot of efforts invested in the last months, different modules of MSP4BIO´s Ecological-Socio-Economic (ESE) Framework for marine areas management have been finalized, and the Initial integrated framework produced for its testing and validation by MSP4BIO Communities of Practice.

The partners discussed the organization of these interactions with site-specific stakeholders which will be organized in the following months, providing feedback on the ESE Framework for its finalization and also co-creating solutions to their needs through ESE Framework application.

A dedicated workshop on discussion and prioritization of identified policy solutions for MPA/MSP policy incoherence has been organized, which will be a valuable input for the next MSP4BIO Science-Policy Dialogue Think tank meeting which will most probably take place during MSP week in October in Marseille.

Policy discussions will take place also regionally, starting with a webinar “Co-development of policy solutions for better integration of biodiversity conservation in MSP and sectoral policies” which will be organized for the NW MED MSP CoP on 24 June.

On the last day, MSP4BIO visited the test site in Cadiz and its surroundings, getting to know better the complex system of marine and terrestrial very connected system. The team has also visited La Balbanera, situated within the natural park, which has been restored by an NGO and talked to a family of traditional shell-fishers who operate within the previously degraded site. The site also serves as a sanctuary for nesting birds. At La Balbanera, we observed traditional fishing practices and sample freshly caught seafood prepared in a traditional manner at a local residence by the Bay.

The meeting hosted also MSP4BIO Project officer who provided valuable input to the efforts undertaken by the Consortium and planned priorities, but also went to the field with the project partners to talk to stakeholders and understand better their needs and every day challenges.

We hope that MSP4BIO will make a difference and will provide useful outputs to be used by the stakeholders beyond the project duration, which will be transferred beyond its test sites.

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