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Planning in A liquiD worlD with tropicaL StakEs: solutions from an EU-Africa-Brazil perspective

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PADDLE (Planning in A liquiD worlD with tropicaL StakEs: solutions from an EU-Africa-Brazil perspective)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2019-06-30

Marine environments are subject to growing pressures (Halpern et al., 2008) such as traffic, increasing demand and changing land-use of coastal areas, seabed exploitation, dredging or mining, fishing, tourism, development of renewable energies, and other. Sustainably managed oceans and seas can contribute to economic growth and employment not only in Europe (Com 2011-782 and Com 2013-279) but also all around the world, including the Tropical Atlantic.
Sustainably managed oceans can stimulate economic growth and employment, and allow the international community to meet its global targets, including the reduction of poverty and hunger. To this end, new frameworks will be increasingly needed to regulate and optimize the range of feasible uses of marine spaces and resources. Because marine ecosystems and maritime economies transcend national boundaries an international comparative approach is needed.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is often defined as “a practical way to create and establish a more rational use of marine space and the interactions among its uses to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment, and to deliver social and economic outcomes in an open and planned way” (Ehler & Douvere, 2009).

For the time being, very few southern countries are involved in on-going research projects on MSP and the literature mainly focuses on Northern case studies even though the exploitation of marine resources is particularly challenging in the South (Spalding et al., 2013; Sale et al., 2014).
In some countries, political instability and the economic strength of transnational companies affects the balance of power in decision-making processes. For instance, MSP could open the way for ocean grabbing, i.e. « the dispossession or appropriation of use, control or access to ocean space or resources from prior resource users, rights holders or inhabitants » (Bennett, 2015; Wolf, 2015; Flannery et al., 2016). The risk of ocean grabbing is particularly high in tropical countries.

This project aims at questioning the opportunities and limits of MSP in a Tropical Atlantic context, giving particular attention to the role of local communities like artisanal fisheries. There are three case study countries: Cabo Verde, Senegal and Brazil.
The secondments realised and events organised allow scientific exchanges, capacity-building and the reinforcement of collaborations, contributing to the creation of a network of experts on MSP in tropical Atlantic.
Over the project’s first two years, 77,6% of the planned secondments for the period have been completed, representing 43% of the planned secondments over the project. All the deliverables planned for the first half of the project have been submitted. The Summer school organised in Brest from Sept. 3rd to 7th 2018 has been a major success. It enabled fruitful exchanges between researchers and PhD students originated across Europe and case study countries. The contrasted interventions of the two keynote speakers W. Flannery and J. Smith showed two schools of thought on the link between globalisation and MSP.
Policy-makers also showed interest in participating to the two workshops organised in Mindelo and in Brazil by the project (in Recife, 70 people present vs. 30 planned). The diffusion on Youtube of movies related to the events is also a result to showcase. Added to the realisation of deliverables, the secondments were dedicated to the reinforcement of networks and to the launch of new partnerships.
Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)


Management policies are currently fragmented and need to take into account the physical and ecological connectivity between sub-systems. To address this requirement, WP2 summarises current knowledge on tropical ecosystem dynamics to identify the gaps, threats, and the most appropriate indicators of resilience. By identifying and collecting available knowledge, data and models on key ecosystem dynamics at play in the case study countries (Brazil, Cape Verde and Senegal) PADDLE project will help to incorporate the information collected and selected in a mutual georeferenced information system. WP3 will contribute to the transfer of knowledge on and experience in MSP governance in a North-South transboundary Atlantic context. The development of joint research and innovation activities aimed at understanding and critically analysing, evaluating and comparing political, legal and governance frameworks in MSP will enhance the research skills and capabilities of academic and non-academic researchers with different social science backgrounds. International and inter-sectoral collaboration will support dynamic solutions and innovative governance designs for MSP in tropical waters.
Mapping of uses in marine environments plays an important role by giving a picture of spatial allocation of uses, but still needs some improvement in order to fully represent the three dimensions of maritime uses (the sea surface, the water column, the seabed) and timeline. PADDLE Project seeks to understand the involvement and equilibrium of Tropical Stakeholders, their views on- and potential involvement in – the development of the maritime economy and in the emergence of conflicts. It will also focus on exchanges concerning innovation in stakeholder interactions.
In fine, Marine Spatial Planning can be understood as a problem of optimization (of uses and spaces) under constraint (reduction of conflicts, preservation of biodiversity, etc.). To achieve this optimization objective, institutions in charge of governance and management generally rely on spatially explicit decision support tools (DST, Decision Support Tools) that incorporate data describing ecological, legal, economic and social systems, and transparently assess management alternatives and trade-offs.
Different tools exist to date, whose strengths and limitations depend on the community and the issue that guided their development. However, their proliferation, the diversity of their approaches, and their varying degrees of technical accessibility, make it difficult to develop standardized strategic impact studies. An additional result of PADDLE project could be the development of a single, standardized tool for simulating management scenarios, allowing the production of intercomparable multisectoral strategic impact studies that are robust to different data availability configurations and allow uncertainty to be represented. This platform could make it possible to support the decision-making and implementation of marine spatial planning policies for the development of a new governance of coastal ocean socio-ecosystems that respects the health of marine ecosystems and is equitable from the point of view of the various human communities that use them.

PADDLE project will at least propose ways to take into account local communities and the marine environment in public policies for Marine Spatial Planning, in particular through a handbook presenting the challenges and opportunities of marine spatial planning in the tropical Atlantic.
Example of shared use of the sea, port of Mindelo, Cabo Verde