Inclusive Ocean Conservation: Innovations in Marine Spatial Planning

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The sustainable development goals (SDGs) recognise that inclusivity and participation are essential for their success and to ensure the livelihoods and wellbeing of society. For UN World Ocean Week, panel members from the One Ocean Hub consider how inclusivity is embedded within decision-making for marine spatial planning (MSP) and ocean conservation and how the needs of those most reliant on marine resources are met. MSP can guide the use of information and knowledge to make decisions over ocean resource (or value) allocation and access. However, MSP has its roots in ecology and economics and has been criticised for not paying more attention to people and society’s connections to marine resources and space.

Our panel questions decision-making processes and explores how participatory measures can ensure equity in resource access and the protection of the livelihood of coastal communities through MSP. Through multidisciplinary viewpoints, the panel members will explore MSP strategies for inclusivity, from the legal frameworks, evidence and data collection, synthesis and use, to modes of participation, all of which shape how myriad ocean ‘values’ are represented in marine resource governance. The panel finally proposes potential pathways that improve inclusivity and equitable access to ocean resources, so that coastal livelihood is not undermined.

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List of participants/speakers:
1. Dr Denning Metuge, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
2. Dr Holly Niner, University of Plymouth, UK
3. Dr Michelle Devlin, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK
4. Dr Kelly Ortega Cisneros, University of Cape Town, South Africa
5. Dr Kirsty McQuaid, University of Plymouth, UK and South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa

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