Marine Spatial Planning: Norway´s management plans
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Since the adoption of a government white paper on ocean governance in 2001, Norway has worked on the development and implementation of marine spatial planning in the format of regional management plans. Management plans for the Barents Sea and the oceans off northern Norway and the Norwegian Sea were adopted in 2006 and 2009, respectively, and a management plan for the North Sea is planned for 2013. A key aspect of the plans is integrated assessment of the cumulative impacts on marine ecosystem from human activities (fisheries, petroleum, marine transportation, etc) on the one hand, and external sources (climate change, long range pollution) on the other. Another important feature is the identification of valuable and vulnerable areas requiring special management measures. These valuable areas have been used as input to define the spatial measures in the plans which includes routing systems for international ship traffic and zoning plans for petroleum activities. Fishing activities is also partially regulated used spatial measures such as MPAs and temporary closed areas. A monitoring system is set up with indicators and reference levels. The plan has been implemented through the regular governance structure without the establishment of new, formal institutions or new jurisdiction. An inter-- ]ministerial committee oversees the work, guided by three working groups. A revised version of the Barents Sea plan will be adopted late in 2010, taking marine spatial planning in Norway into its second generation. Key words: Marine spatial planning, Norway, Barents Sea, ecosystem approach