Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 20, Iss. 1 > Art. 64 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Marine spatial planning and Good Environmental Status: a perspective on spatial and temporal dimensions

Alison J. Gilbert, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam
Karen Alexander, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute
Rafael Sardá, Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Raminta Brazinskaite, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Christian Fischer, Institute for Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Kira Gee, Institute for Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht; Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool
Mark Jessopp, Coastal and Marine Research Centre, University College Cork
Peter Kershaw, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hans J. Los, Deltares
David March Morla, Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA CSIC / UIB)
Cathal O'Mahony, Coastal and Marine Research Centre, University College Cork
Mia Pihlajamäki, Finnish Environment Institute
Siân Rees, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth
Riku Varjopuro, Finnish Environment Institute


Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


The European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the Good Environmental Status of marine environments in Europe's regional seas; yet, maritime activities, including sources of marine degradation, are diversifying and intensifying in an increasingly globalized world. Marine spatial planning is emerging as a tool for rationalizing competing uses of the marine environment while guarding its quality. A directive guiding the development of such plans by European Union member states is currently being formulated. There is an undeniable need for marine spatial planning. However, we argue that considerable care must be taken with marine spatial planning, as the spatial and temporal scales of maritime activities and of Good Environmental Status may be mismatched. We identify four principles for careful and explicit consideration to align the requirements of the two directives and enable marine spatial planning to support the achievement of Good Environmental Status in Europe's regional seas.

Key words

DPSWR; Good Environmental Status; marine spatial planning; maritime spatial planning; spatial scale temporal scale

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087