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Fuelling the future of marine spatial planning: integrating energy extraction and marine conservation science /Marine renewable and non-renewable energy

Room: Boisdale     2014-08-15; 17:30 - 19:30

NB: Unless specified otherwise, presentations are 15 minutes in length, and speed presentations are 5 mins in length.

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Hugh Possingham

SY23.1  17:30  Prospective hydrocarbon extraction drives marine conservation planning with multiple users. Mazor, T *, ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; Possingham, H P ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; Edelist, D Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, Department of Maritime Civilizations, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, 31905, Israel; Brokovich B Department of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; Kark S ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia;

Abstract: Conservation objectives can rarely be achieved without considering other users of the environment. Nevertheless, planning for the conservation of marine biodiversity rarely explicitly includes other marine users, or assesses the trade-offs that may be required when selecting priority conservation areas. In this study we aim to test how the inclusion of marine economic activities can influence conservation plans. Here we use Israel’s entire Mediterranean territorial waters as a case study to compare four different planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity. We applied the conservation planning software Marxan in each scenario, and tested a) the ability of each scenario to reach conservation targets, b) the change in cost, and c) the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. Our results show that spatial priorities for conservation can be significantly modified by including hydrocarbon data in the spatial planning process. We found that by including more factors in the planning process, greater trade-offs are required to reach conservation objectives. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that for a loss of ~15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ~5% of hydrocarbon exploration revenue, we could protect ≥10% of the distribution of 166 marine biodiversity features. This case study provides a model example and framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and economic considerations within a country’s territorial waters.

SY23.2  17:45  Ocean-zoning for conservation, fisheries and renewable energy generation: assessing trade-offs and exploring co-location opportunities. Yates, KL *, Environmental Science Research Institute, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, UK, ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia, School ; Schoeman, DS School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558, Australia; Klein, CJ ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia;

Abstract: As our oceans get busier, competition for space, especially in the coastal zone, will intensify. Decision makers require guidance on how to zone the ocean for multiple uses in a way that achieves both ecological and socio-economic goals. Using a freely available planning tool, we identified priority areas for seven zones, which included goals for biodiversity conservation, two types of renewable energy, and three types of fishing under multiple scenarios. The different scenarios explored a range of biodiversity and industry goals. We evaluated trade-offs between the industries and investigated the impacts of co-locating some fishing activities within renewable energy sites. Increasing fisheries targets had a negative impact on the ability to meet the renewable energy targets, and vice-versa. However, different sectors within those industries were affected very differently: some experienced roughly linear declines in target attainment, while others had very distinct trade-off points. Co-location resulted in significant reductions in cost to the whole fishing industry, including fisheries that were not co-located. Co-location also altered the spatial distribution of priorities for the renewable energy zones. The methodology used offers a systematic, transparent and accessible way to explore multi-industry trade-offs. Our analysis reinforces the need for and efficacy of multi-industry marine planning and highlights the importance of considering co-location opportunities from the outset.

SY23.3  18:00  Ecosystem service tradeoff analysis reveals the value of marine spatial planning for multiple ocean uses. White, C. *, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo;

Abstract: A key proposed advantage of marine spatial planning (MSP) is that it makes tradeoffs in resource use and sector values explicit, but doing so requires tools to assess tradeoffs. We extended tradeoff analyses from economics to simultaneously assess multiple ecosystem services and the values they provide to sectors using a robust, quantitative, and transparent framework. We used the framework to assess potential conflicts among offshore wind energy, commercial fishing, and whale watching sectors in Massachusetts, USA and identify and quantify the value from choosing optimal wind farm designs that minimize conflicts among these sectors. We show that using MSP over conventional planning could prevent >US$1m in losses to the incumbent fishery and whale-watching sectors and generate >US$10b in extra value to the energy sector. The value of MSP increased with the greater the number of sectors considered and the larger the area under management. Importantly, the framework can be applied even when sectors are not measured in dollars (e.g., conservation). Making tradeoffs explicit improves transparency in decision-making, helps avoid unnecessary conflicts attributable to perceived but weak tradeoffs, and focuses debate on finding the most efficient solutions to mitigate real tradeoffs and maximize sector values. Our analysis demonstrates the utility, feasibility, and value of MSP and provides timely support for the management transitions needed for society to address the challenges of an increasingly crowded ocean environment.

SY23.4  18:30  Start with a conversation: Finding common ground with industry to achieve positive results for marine conservation, society and business. Polsenberg, JF *, Wildlife Conservation Society; Callow, MJ Wildlife Conservation Society;

Abstract: Globally, extensive habitats critical for the long-term conservation of marine biodiversity are impacted by industrial activities such as offshore oil and gas, shipping and ports. The offshore industry is expanding to highly sensitive areas, including ultra-deep waters and the Arctic, to exploit reserves previously considered technologically inaccessible. Shipping is growing, and ever-larger ports are being built in regions, such as east and central Africa, that have had limited vessel traffic. Based on our experiences interacting with these industries, we know we can collaborate to improve operational best practices, to develop wildlife-protective technologies, and to better understand cumulative impacts. Interactions with the extractive industry have provided important insights toward refining the mitigation hierarchy, a set of principles and standards for the achievement of no-net loss of biodiversity. Here we discuss an operational collaboration in the Gulf of Guinea with Tullow Oil plc, a multinational UK-based company, with which Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is exploring the questions of how and, if so, to what extent, can the offshore extractive industry play a positive role in marine protection. In addition, we discuss how we are engaging the shipping and other maritime industries. Crucially, these collaborations give WCS the opportunity to influence operational best practices while learning more about the efficacy of novel industry mitigation technologies.

SY23.5  18:45  Advancing offshore wind energy and ocean ecosystem protection in New England: Why ocean planning and stakeholder collaboration make sense. Priscilla M. Brooks *, Conservation Law Foundation;

Abstract: Over the past few years in the United States, there has been a growing consensus among governmental, academic, environmental, and resource-user communities that our ocean resources must be managed from a more comprehensive and ecosystem-based perspective. Proposals for new uses of ocean resources and space—most notably from the energy sector—have left resource managers grappling with how to protect our increasingly compromised ocean ecosystems while allowing for sustainable use. Debate over this issue has been particularly heated in New England where proposals for offshore liquefied natural gas terminals, sand and gravel mining, desalinization plants, gas pipelines, and wind and tidal energy facilities have raised concerns among local, state, and federal agencies and the general public about how to best manage the diversity of uses and the impacts of this intensified development pressure on the marine environment. In response, the region has embraced ocean planning as a tool to realize all that the ocean has to offer in the way of food, transportation, recreation, jobs and energy while ensuring essential protection of the ecosystem. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have completed ocean plans for their state ocean waters and a Northeast regional ocean plan is under development. Intensive planning for offshore wind energy development is sparking new science, data collection and stakeholder collaboration that aims to advance renewable energy development and ecosystem protection.

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