The Marine Spatial Management and Governance Programme (MARISMA) of the BCLME promotes sustainable ocean use in the Benguela Current, focusing on implementing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). MSP is a process which guides when and where human activities occur in the ocean. It reveals spatial conflicts and synergies between uses, and it encourages the shared use of marine areas to benefit as many industries as possible.
MSP helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem by integrating conservation objectives for marine biodiversity - a prerequisite for sustainable dvelopment. The project helps BCC member states identify “Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas” (EBSAs). MSP is an integrative process that engages a wide range of stakeholders. Government departments, industry, NGOs and communities cooperate in working towards an agreed marine plan that is supported by stakeholders and implemented by public authorities.
Planning for Sustainability
The project applies a “learning-by-doing” approach that comprises multiple interventions at national and regional levels to ensure sustainable capacity development. The aim is to enable and provide concrete learning opportunities and experiences through practical implementation of MSP and description of EBSAs. The work on EBSAs enables the countries to move towards science-based management of their (transboundary) marine biodiversity.
MARISMA ensures that all project activities are designed in a way that enhances capacities through knowledge transfer and on-the-job training. The project implements a strategy for communication and public awareness in order to increase appreciation of the benefits that come with MSP and EBSAs. Lessons learned are captured and shared nationally, acrosss the three countries and globally.