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Report of the Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning, Gent, January 16-17, 2004
(2004). Report of the Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning, Gent, January 16-17, 2004. Universiteit Gent: Gent. 39 pp.


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  • Towards a Spatial Structure Plan for Sustainable Management of the Sea

    This report gives an overview of the input and output of the workshop that was organised within the framework of the GAUFRE project*. The workshop itself was used as a crucial step within our project. It was meant to be the finishing touch for the collection of data reflecting the state of the art on the use of the Belgian part of the North Sea. On the other hand, it was an introduction to the confrontation of different user functions with the aim of balancing these uses as an input for a future spatial structure plan for the Belgian part of the North Sea. The contribution of the international team of experts was a major input of this workshop. This is reflected in their abstracts and slides, included in this report. The actual summary of the workshop and the results flowing from these discussions reflect the output of the workshop. Different subjects have been arranged in as clear a manner as possible. Although a very broad range of topics was discussed, not all of them were touched upon in more detail. The main lessons to the GAUFRE team are: 1. spatial planning at sea is a dynamic process and an ongoing exercise; 2. get started even though you do not feel very comfortable as an academic, due to lack of required data (e.g. impacts); 3. use operating principles or decision rules that apply to the planning process even in case scientific data are not available to support them fully; 5. translate those principles and decision rules in a visionary perspective; 5. more emphasize should be laid on social-economic interactions of the user functions; 6. apply public participation in general and in particular stakeholder participation in case of uncertainties (e.g. oral mapping); and 7. consider spatial planning in this small part of the North Sea in interaction with the North Sea under jurisdiction of the other coastal states.

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