Marine spatial planning is a way of improving decision making and delivering an ecosystem-based approach to managing human activities in the marine environment. It is a planning process that enables integrated, forward looking, and consistent decision making on the human uses of the sea. Marine spatial planning is analogous to spatial or land use planning in terrestrial environments. Ecosystem-based, marine spatial planning seeks to sustain the benefits of the ecological goods and services that the oceans provide to humans as well as all living organisms on the planet.
The purpose of the workshop was to:
- Identify good practices that illustrate how marine spatial planning can help implement an ecosystem-based approach to sea use management;
- Develop an international community of scientists and planners that wants to put ecosystem-based management into practice;
- Share information and experience through new partnerships and the Internet; and
- Identify priorities for future action, including developing international guidelines and building new capacities for marine spatial planning.