Strategic scenarios for maritime spatial planning in an European outermost region—The case of the Azores.

Calado, Helena, Vergílio, Marta, Caña-Varona, Mario, Pegorelli, Camila, Hipólito, Cláudia, Silva, Aida, Carreira, Gilberto, Paramio, Maria and Papaioannou, Eva (2022) Strategic scenarios for maritime spatial planning in an European outermost region—The case of the Azores. Marine Policy, 145 . Art.Nr. 105255. DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2022.105255.

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Abstract

Highlights:
• Importance of experts and stakeholders in the process of scenarios-building.
• Experts’ key role refining objectives, framing scenarios and developing storylines.
• A balanced statements selection reflects the composition of stakeholder categories.
• Stakeholders provide relevant and unique contribution for the final outcome.
• Geographic isolation of the islands shapes the results of scenarios and storylines.
• Participatory scenarios-building results in formulation of policy recommendations.

Abstract:
The Maritime Spatial Planning process plans towards a desired future (Vision/Goal). Such vision is usually an integration of various aspirations from different stakeholders and sectors that depend on the related policy/governance framework. In this sense, a tool such as scenario-building is of paramount importance to MSP once it helps decision-makers visualize the future that might unfold due to specific the actions/policies needed to make such a future more likely to happen. Along these lines, this work presents the methodology and results of the scenario building process developed and applied in the Macaronesia Maritime Spatial Planning (MarSP) project, for the Autonomous Region of Azores. The methodology is structured in four main steps: (i) setting MSP objectives based on policy review and following stakeholders’ inputs; (ii) identifying key objectives after consultation with regional experts; (iii) developing scenario storylines; and (iv) balancing across scenarios based on feedback from stakeholders’ engagement. Three main pre-established scenarios were developed, balancing the pillars of sustainable development, namely: “Blue Society,” “Blue Growth”, and “Blue Development”. In a consultative and participatory process, the three scenarios were later modified and validated, integrating the preferences of stakeholders, being the most voted (preferred) scenario “Blue Development”. Results highlight the importance of applying a participatory approach to scenario building in MSP to understand the preferences and expectations of different stakeholders. The methodology can be relevant and adjustable to other regions, tailored to specific settings, in support of decision making towards an adaptive MSP process.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Scenario-building; Maritime/marine spatial planning; Storylines; Stakeholder engagement
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Main POF Topic: PT6: Marine Life
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2022 11:21
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2022 11:21
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/57051

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