Governance baselines as a basis for adaptive marine spatial planning
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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A marine spatial planning (MSP) initiative—if to be successful—has to be rooted in a thorough understanding of the tradition and structures of the governance system in the area targeted for the initiative. After decades of a mainly sectoral approach towards maritime affairs, governments began to recognised the need for a governance framework that applies a more integrated approach to maritime policy. The new Integrated Maritime Policy of the European Union is only one example for such a changed way of policy and decision making. The assembly of a governance baseline can help to identify the crucial hindering and success factors for the implementation of MSP. A governance baseline has two parts. Part One focuses upon the past and current performance of the governance system as it has responded—or failed to respond—to changes in the condition of ecosystems in a specific locale. Part Two of a baseline outlines a strategic approach to the design of a new program and records the goals, objectives and strategies of MSP implementation. Focus on both governance processes and their outcomes is essential and forms the core justification for documenting governance responses to ecosystem change.