Generic framework for monitoring and evaluation of Spatially Managed Areas

Abstract: 

The central part of the MESMA spatial management tool box is a generic and flexible framework which describes a best practice process of how to assess a given spatial management within a discrete marine area with clearly defined boundaries in space and time. Steps include context setting; information collation and mapping; selecting indicators and thresholds; risk analysis and state assessment; assessing findings against operational objectives; evaluate management effectiveness; and recommend adaptations to current management

Year: 
01.11.2012
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Data
Economic aspects
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Stakeholders
Type of practice: 
Methodology
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Yes
Coherence with other processes: 
Strategic Environmental Assessment

Questions this practice may help answer

Which steps do I need to take to evaluate the implementation of a Spatially Managed Areas (SMA), such as a Maritime Spatial Plan?

Implementation Context

The MESMA project aims at developing strategies, guidelines, tools and a systematic framework to facilitate integrated monitoring, evaluation and implementation of Spatially Managed Areas (SMAs). Therefore, a central part of the project is to develop a MESMA spatial management toolbox. The toolbox should be a generic and flexible framework, which describes a best practice process of how to assess a given spatial management within a discrete marine area with clearly defined boundaries in space and time.

Aspects / Objectives

Creating an evaluation framework, which is applicable at any spatial scale independent from the natural and socioeconomic factors relevant in a certain area.

Method

The authors analysed several Existing assessment strategies such as Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA), MSP (Marine Spatial Planning) and Marine Protected areas (MPAs). This analysis suggested that the MESMA framework should comprise:

  1. The definition of key desired outcomes,
  2. Identification of management objectives
  3. Performance indicators and thresholds
  4. Monitoring and risk analysis,
  5. Assessment of findings in relation to objectives,
  6. Evaluation of current management and recommendations for adaptation.

Further to support the implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) the MESMA framework should consider explicitly interactions of ecosystem components and cumulative impacts of human activities.

Main Outputs / Results

Report, providing a detailed elaboration of the MESMA framework.

The MESMA framework to evaluate and monitor SMAs comprises seven key steps and represents an iterative process.

  1. Definition of spatial and temporal boundaries to specify the contex

    1. In relation to those boundaries the high level goal
    2. Operational objectives will be defined
  2. The collation of existing information and mapping.
    1. The ecosystem components (natural and socio‐economic) relevant to the set of objectives will be defined and mapped for the SMA.
    2. The socio‐economic components (human activities) will be mapped and (cumulative) impacts of those on natural ecosystem components will be assessed
    3. List existing or proposed management measures
  3. The definition of indicators and related thresholds.
  4. State assessment of the indicators and/or a risk analysis of management scenarios.
  5. Evaluate the findings against the operational objectives.
  6. Evaluation of management effectiveness will be conducted
  7. Assessing results will be synthesised to formulate recommendations to adapt management

Throughout the assessment process stakeholder engagement is considered to be important which is directly linked to a detailed governance analysis of the SMA

Transferability

The toolbox is applicable at any spatial scale independent from the natural and socioeconomic factors relevant in a certain area.

Responsible Entities

MESMA project partners

Costs / Funding Source

The practice was elaborated under the MESMA project co financed by European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007‐2013). Direct costs of its elaboration are unknown. 

Contact Person

Dr. Vanessa Stelzenmüller

Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries

Mail: info@thuenen.de

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