Interactive and transparent approach in marine spatial planning

Israel Bardugo
Published: 11 February 2016
Last edited: 05 September 2016
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Summary

The solution addresses stakeholder participation for planning and management of Israel's marine space. An interactive web GIS platform has been developed to visualize the spatial distribution of different resource use in Israel's marine waters to promote awareness of the marine environment. It also addresses the issues of transparency and knowledge dissemination. Stakeholders are actively involved in the planning process and accompanied by local and international scientific advisory committees.

Classifications

Region
West Asia, Middle East
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Deep sea
Other ecosystem
coastal zone; open water
Theme
Coastal and marine spatial management
Terrestrial spatial planning
Aichi targets
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated

Location

Israel | Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Challenges

Lack of consolidated marine information; Difficulty envisioning spatial scenarios • Lack of transparency regarding spatially explicit data • Interfacing with the public, especially with those stakeholders that did not attend public meetings • Lack of consolidated marine information and the diversity of uses that is accessible to the public • Expense and time consumed in preparing physical hardcopy maps, changing them over time and viewing them at various scales in a time-efficient way

Beneficiaries

Stakeholders and other resources users; Students (of marine/coastal policy, geography, political science, natural resource use); Planners and professionals taking part in the planning process; the wieder public

Impacts

There is considerable potential in this area for developing and providing a variety of services to Israel's society and its economy, but also a serious threat to the delicate natural / ecological balance of the marine environment. If realized, this threat could harm the sensitive marine and coastal ecosystems and the services they provide. In the absence of a comprehensive plan for the marine space and effective tools for implementing it, these threats could cause irreversible damage. The development of an interactive GIS online tool supports Israel’s marine spatial planning process through: • Visualization of spatial distribution of bio-geographical features in Israel's marine waters; • Visualization of spatial distribution of different sectoral activities in Israel's marine waters; • Visualization of proposed allocation of activities, or groups of activities, in Israel's marine waters; • Ability to assess the impacts and interactions of the proposed scenarios, designations and activities on bio-geographical features and existing activities It therefore provides a repository of information in a one-stop shop.

Story

We had a meeting with our international advisors. For this meeting five advisors came to Israel for two days of meetings. On the second day we had a session explicitly directed towards consideration of the spatial scenarios considered for the Israel Marine Plan. We opened the ASDA interactive GIS tool on a laptop and projected the site on a screen in the meeting room. The international advisors were not familiar the spatial aspects of the plan. They were able to ask questions, give feedback and received detailed clarification about the spatial locations of ongoing and planned uses of the sea area. The ASDA was very helpful in allowing us to collectively view the information. We were about twenty of us seated around a table. Other advantages, in addition to convenient collective viewing, were the ability to see layers of information one by one, for example by use sector, and we had an opportunity to see where information was confusing and needed to be improved upon. We spent about an hour and a half discussing with the advisors various spatial aspects of the proposed plan.

Contributed by

Michelle Portman

Contributors