Applying Economic Analysis to Marine Spatial Planning

10 January 2022

A deeper understanding of the economic trade-offs that come with Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), and the winners and losers who emerge, can give policymakers insights they now lack into the needs and potentials of a sustainable ocean economy.

Alpízar, F.; Madrigal-Ballestero, R.; Castaño-Isaza, J.; Lange, G.; Alder, J.; Herrera, L.

To protect the oceans' natural capital and promote sustainable economic growth, the world needs to move beyond a business-as-usual relationship with its marine resources. For increasing numbers of countries, the solution is the "Blue Economy" approach. It allocates ocean space across traditional sectors such as fisheries and new ones such as offshore wind farms, intending to protect resources and benefit current and future generations. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is a key element of these efforts, yet it rarely includes a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact that interventions will have on the ocean and its wide range of stakeholders. This paper argues that adding robust economic analysis to the MSP process will increase buy-in, foster livelihoods, attract finance and advance the long-term Blue Economy objective of protecting the ocean's underlying resources and ecosystems.  

Publication | 11 January 2024