The MSP guidebook is a collaboration between the UNESCO´s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program.
Since the first International Workshop was held by UNESCO in 2006, there´s been an explosion of interest in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) as a practical approach to managing the marine environment and avoiding user conflicts.
Marine Spatial Planning proves to be a particularly useful operational framework – especially in heavily used marine areas – for countries to maintain the value of their marine biodiversity without hindering the sustainable use of the economic potential their oceans offer. Thus, in order to spread the use of MSP, and to help understanding the benefits it can have and what results can be expected, UNESCO’s intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Man and the Biosphere Programme produced the MSP guidebook.
The guide presents a step-by-step approach to setting up and applying MSP, starting with authority establishment, followed by planning and implementation, and eventually monitoring and evaluation. The guidebook is primarily targeting professionals in charge of marine areas planning and management, but also all stakeholders at international, regional, national, and sub-national levels, who would like to get a better understanding of the potential and benefits of MSP, and of the results that can be expected. The orientations presented in the guide are based on actual MSP initiatives from around the world, and on the analysis of the steps that led to the successful implementation of these processes.
Photo credit: IOC-UNESCO’s MSP guidebook