Assessing land–sea interactions in the framework of maritime spatial planning: lessons from an ecosystem approach.

Abstract: 

Maritime spatial planning aims to provide an integrated governance framework for the rational allocation of activities whilst also preserving marine ecosystems. Maritime spatial planning is a complex task with similarities to but also significant differences from onshore spatial planning. The sea is a multidimensional environmental, economic and social territory, so the methods and methodologies used for classical land-use planning can vary. The management of the coastal zone, which is the link between the land and the sea, is critical. The adoption of European Union Directive 2014/89 has led to the creation of a new national legal framework for the preparation of maritime spatial plans in European Union member states, including Greece. However, the complexity of the interactions between anthropogenic pressures and the marine ecosystem makes it essential to quantitatively assess the impact of the land uses included in proposed local spatial plans. Thus, the cumulative impact score index (Ic) was used to assess the pressures on the coastal environment caused by the land uses proposed in the local spatial plan for the Mastichochoria area of the island of Chios in Greece. Based on the results of the case study, the authors argue that quantitative analytical tools are required for comprehensive and effective planning, especially within the ecosystem approach framework. The results indicate that an integrated approach between onshore and offshore institutional spatial planning is required, and that a new, more effective spatial governance model is needed in Greece.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
April 2020
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Land-sea interactions
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Stocktake
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
No
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What is the importance of assessing the land-sea interactions in the framework of MSP?

Implementation Context: 

The research was conducted in cooperation between the Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly and the Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics Engineering, University of West Attica (Greece).

Aspects / Objectives: 

The study aims to assess the impact of the land uses included in proposed local spatial plans. 

Method: 

The cumulative impact score index was used to assess the pressures on the coastal environment caused by the land uses proposed in the local spatial plan for the Mastichochoria area of the island of Chios in Greece.

Main Outputs / Results: 

The results indicate that an integrated approach between onshore and offshore institutional spatial planning is required, and that a new, more effective spatial governance model is needed in Greece.

Transferability: 

The methodology presented can be useful for similar studies in other marine regions.

Responsible Entity: 

Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece.

Funding Source: 

This review was not supported by any grant or funding.

Contact person: 

Evangelos Asprogerakas

Department of Planning and Regional Development

University of Thessaly, Volos (Greece)

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