Assessment Framework for successful development of viable ocean multi-use systems

Belmont Forum, Future Earth and JPI Oceans Collaborative Research Action

About the project

Sustainable and efficient use of ocean space can be achieved through a combination of different ocean uses both in close proximity, through joint operations, or on the same platform. This requires a radical change from the concept of exclusive resource rights to the inclusive sharing of ocean resources by two or more uses. Known as ocean multi-use (MU), this novel approach can reduce demand for space and potentially offer significant socio-economic and environmental benefits. Many innovative multi-use concepts have been recently proposed by the marine planning, scientific and business community, and are advocated in a range of policies. However, actual MU developments are few, mainly due to a lack of knowledge about potential impacts on the economy and the marine environment. 

The MULTI-FRAME project aims to increase the knowledge base and capacity of public and private actors for ocean MU systems, by providing concrete open source tools, assessment results and best practice examples. Common challenges and potential solutions will be explored to ensure credible, insightful outputs with broad utility. Results are expected to inform relevant actors and encourage them to systemically consider the concept in their marine planning practices and to streamline MU in relevant ocean policies.

As part of the project, five multi-use scenarios will be developed in case study areas, selected to cover a range of use combinations and marine environments, with consideration for existing marine space contests: 

The co-development approach will involve a wide range of public, private, research and community actors to bring MU closer to delivering expected benefits and minimized impacts. 

The MULTI-FRAME research collaboration builds on recent and innovative ocean MU initiatives (e.g. HORIZON 2020 and FP7 research projects, national marine spatial planning processes, commercial projects) and is encouraged by policy frameworks advocating for a more holistic approach to ocean planning. The project has been awarded funding under the Belmont ForumFuture Earth and JPI Oceans 2018-2019 international call for research proposals on: Transdisciplinary Research for Ocean Sustainability. The project will last 3 years, starting June 2020.



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