WP 7: Designing a network of Marine Protected Areas - Marine Spatial Planning
Design a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the context of an overall Marine Spatial Plan for the different sea uses in the study area.
The design of the MPA network and the associated Spatial Plan will be based on the principles of systematic conservation planning (Margules and Pressey 2000). These principles include: complementary, comprehensiveness, representativeness, and irreplaceability; also, cost efficiency, threat management, adequacy and vulnerability. For this purpose we will use the best available software for the implementation of systematic conservation planning, Marxan (Ball et al. 2009). After defining the conservation objectives for a number of biodiversity features, eg 10% protection for each habitat, the Marxan chooses the planning units that achieve the stated objectives with the minimum total cost, giving to a greater or lesser extent, focus on spatial clustering of selected planning units. In more detail, we will apply the following methodology:
- Process the information of GIS layers related to the spatial distribution of important species and habitats that were produced in WP-2.
- Process the information of the GIS layers related to the spatial distribution of human activities and pressures generated in WP-3.
- Configuration of targets for biodiversity features for which protection is desired (important species and habitats). Operational objectives will be based on the latest national and European directives, and consultation with authorities and stakeholders (WP-6).
- Application of Marxan to create the network of protected areas in the study area.
D7.1: Maps of the proposed network of protected areas, and zones with restrictions on human activities.