C1.2.4. Establish Case Studies on Approaches to MSP Implementation

Specific Objective: To undertake case studies that illustrate how the challenges to MSP implementation, specifically transboundary working, can be addressed.

Complementing and extending the work undertaken in scenarios planning, data needs and stakeholder engagement, a series of case studies (thematic and geographic) will be developed. These case studies will illustrate how MSP implementation is approached within the Celtic Seas area, specifically through examination of localised transboundary working.
An indicative list of case studies, which have been initially scoped out with planning authorities, is provided below to illustrate the kind of topics to be covered; the final list will depend on assessment of those which best contribute to the objectives of SIMCelt against agreed criteria.

Case Study #1: Understanding Specific Cross-Border Issues and Opportunities
Lead partner: UCC

There are issues/opportunities that are genuinely transnational. The analysis will seek to identify how such transboundary issues might be addressed in delivering a coherent approach spanning marine area borders. The topics will be issue-driven and focused on specific localities within the Celtic Seas e.g. Western Approaches.

Output:

Issue-specific analysis and conclusions that are practice focused and policy relevant.

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Case Study #2: Assessment of Cumulative Impacts in the Irish Sea
Lead Partner: Marine Institute

Many policy documents on MSP refer to ‘cumulative impacts or effects’ in some way. Assessing such impacts is usually beyond the capacity of one organisation, however, SIMCelt provides a significant opportunity to join forces to provide that capacity. The case study will focus on a select few environmental parameters and one sector in the relatively busy Irish Sea, and will build upon and link with existing initiatives, e.g. OSPAR assessment, DEFRA-led CEA working group.

Output:

Recommendations on cumulative effects assessment methodology (including contributing analyses such as pressures, sensitivity, interaction pathways) supported by case examples/piloting.

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Case Study #3: Planning Across Borders
Lead Partner: Scottish Government

Wherever a boundary is drawn, the challenge of achieving a coherent approach across that boundary is created. This case study will look at distinct localities where cross-border cooperation between marine planning authorities and the challenge of effective stakeholder engagement is brought into sharp focus. The proposed areas are the Solway Firth and the Severn Estuary, and further areas may be identified by Partners as detail is worked up. The case study will explore practical application of cooperation on transboundary working within ecologically coherent units, for example: how to assess and ‘align’ what is said in marine plans on different sides of a marine border, and what approach to stakeholder engagement arrangements (if any) needs to be taken in order to ensure effective ‘join up’.

Output:

Case study report on possible approaches to cross-border cooperation including stakeholder engagement mechanisms.

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Case Study #4: Understanding and Applying Ecosystem Services to MSP
Lead Partners: DAERA/UCC

At both European and national levels there is a requirement to adopt an ecosystem approach to MSP. The challenge is to understand the concept, including economic valuation of services under different scenarios, in a sufficiently practical way that it can be applied by maritime planners. Whilst previous work, e.g. EU-funded ValMER project have tended to focus on basic research, e.g. understanding what services are provided by what environmental features, SIMCelt will explore fully the application of such research. The case study will focus on a select few ecosystem services.

Output:

Case study report with recommendations of analysis or conclusions that can be taken account of in Member States’ relevant plans plus lessons learned for transfer to other locations .

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