Leading marine environmental consultancy, ABPmer, has been commissioned by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to scope a co-location assessment tool that will be used by Marine Planners to aid potential strategic planning of some sectors/activities within a marine area.
The UK Marine Policy Statement (MPS) states that “The marine plan should identify areas of constraint and locations where a range of activities may be accommodated. This will reduce real and potential conflict, maximise compatibility between marine activities and encourage co-existence of multiple users”. In order to meet this requirement, the MMO is undertaking a programme of work on co-location.
The MMO is particularly looking to develop a holistic tool that incorporates physical, environmental and socio-economic factors, significantly extending the work previously undertaken.
It is hoped that the tool will inform the assessment of areas best able to support specific types of co-location and consider the potential impacts on existing or future activities.
Stephen Hull, ABPmer Technical Director said: “We are really excited to be awarded this piece of work. We have been working in the field of cumulative effects and socio-economic impact assessments for some time now so understand that for such a tool to be meaningful to decision-making it needs to take account of interactions in time and space, cumulative and in combination effects, forecasting and scenario evaluation.
Currently, no holistic co-location tools exist – indeed, in many cases, the necessary component parts of such a tool are still at an early stage of development. Naturally, as part of our work programme we are reviewing what might usefully contribute to the development of such an integrated tool.”
ABPmer has a strong track record in undertaking evidence-based marine studies to develop guidance and advice for decision-makers and is a recognised thought leader in marine planning. The project is due to complete August 2013.
Press Release, June 11, 2013