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Biodiversity & Environment

Marine Spatial Planning Framework

  • 17 Feb 2023
  • 3 min read

Prelims: MSP framework, Blue Economy, Exclusive Economic Zone.

Mains: Government Policies & Interventions, Significance of the Oceans, India-Norway Cooperation

Why in News?

Puducherry has launched the country’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework as part of a pact under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative.

  • Puducherry and Lakshadweep were chosen as coastlines to pilot the MSP initiative after a 2019 Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Norway.

What is Marine Spatial Planning?

  • MSP is an ecosystem-based spatial planning process for analysing current and anticipated ocean and coastal uses and identifying areas most suitable for various activities.
  • It provides a public policy process for society to better determine how the ocean and coasts are sustainably used and protected - now and for future generations.

What is this Framework About?

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences oversees the implementation of the MSP through National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, the Puducherry Coastal Zone Management Authority and Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Puducherry in collaboration with Norwegian Environment Agency.
  • The two nations have agreed to provide continued assistance towards the sustainable use of ocean resources, with the aim of promoting economic and social development in coastal regions.
  • After successful implementation of pilot project in Lakshadweep and Puducherry, the framework can be replicated to other coastal regions of the country.

What is the Significance of MSP Framework?

  • An Ecosystem-based Approach: It aims to simultaneously enhance ocean health and economic growth in a manner consistent with principles of social equity and inclusion.
  • Vital Governance Tool: it is a tool to ensure the emergence of a Blue economy characterised by a sustainable and equitable ocean resource management, instead of an environmentally unsustainable “brown economy.
  • Tool in Balancing Conflicting Interests: It can be used to balance the demands for tourism growth with the livelihood concerns of fisher communities in terms of the use of coastal land and marine waters.
  • In line with Blue Economy Policy: Blue economy policy seeks to enhance contribution of coastal areas to GDP while preserving Marine biodiversity.
    • Currently, the blue economy comprises 4.1% of India’s economy.
  • Vast Coastline: With a coastline of nearly 7500 kilometres, India has a unique maritime position with respect to environmental responsibilities and economic growth opportunities.

Source: TH

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