Examining the role of integration in marine spatial planning: towards an analytical framework to understand challenges in diverse settings

Saunders, Fred, Gilek, Michael, Day, Jon, Hassler, Björn, McCann, Jennifer, and Smythe, Tiffany (2019) Examining the role of integration in marine spatial planning: towards an analytical framework to understand challenges in diverse settings. Ocean & Coastal Management, 169. pp. 1-9.

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Marine spatial planning (MSP) as a means of marine governance has been given more prominence recently in response to the problems of fragmentation of marine regulation, environmental protection from increasing pressures upon the seas and the emergence of new maritime industries (Douvere and Ehler, 2009). Therefore enhancing multiple aspects of the way that marine authorities, sectors and stakeholders interact and engage with each other is integral to MSP's role and function and seen as a key means to address fragmented and isolated decision-making in marine space (Portman, 2016). While the function and processes of enhancing integration should not be seen as ends in themselves, they aim to create institutionalised platforms that support multi-level and multi-sectoral governance interaction to achieve 'sustainable use' of marine space (Gilek et al., 2016; Ritchie and Ellis, 2010; Varjopuro et al., 2015). Here, integration mostly plays an instrumental role in realising multiple and divergent political ends (e.g. blue growth, sustainable use, legitimate decision-making) related to ‘integrated spatialized outcomes' that seek to reflect a balance of competing goals (Flannery et al., 2016; Flannery et al., 2018; Jones et al., 2016; Olsen et al., 2014a). Integration is also seen to be important to foster greater connectivity over borders, beneficial for conservation, shipping and fishing (Jay et al., 2016).

While claims of the benefits of more integration are intuitively appealing, whether and how these are actually delivered through integration practices remains under-examined in MSP practice; as are empirical insights on the multiplicity of roles that integration plays in MSP. So, while integration has been universally adopted as a policy principle where it is believed that more integration is seen to be closely related to successful planning in numerous ways, there is confusion about what it means, how to do it and what it implies in different MSP contexts. In response, the key aim of this article is to develop an analytical framework useful for examining integration in MSP across a diversity of contexts and processes. Given the central role of integration in MSP, it is vitally important to better understand the linkages between ideas of integration and their practical application in MSP.

To examine the role of integration across multiple MSP contexts, we first describe the approach taken in this study. This is followed by a review of relevant MSP and integration related literature to develop an analytical framework. We draw on this framework to illustrate important expressions of integration challenges and responses in our cases. The experiences from the multiple cases are then discussed to generate insights into the various roles that integration plays in MSP and how problems arise and have been addressed. In closing, we underline key findings and reflect on the usefulness and adaptability of the integration approach developed in this article.

Item ID: 61869
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-524X
Copyright Information: Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/)
Funders: European Union (EU), Swedish Research Council FORMAS
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2020 02:05
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 100%
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