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Training: Integrating Connectivity into Marine Spatial Planning

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

6-10th June 2022 - Piran (Slovenia) .

In June 2022, SEA-UNICORN's WG3 held a five-day training school and workshop dedicated to the specific integration of Marine functional Connectivity data in Marine Spatial Planning.

This hybrid event, organized at the EMUNI University in Piran (Slovenia) in collaboration with Jean Monnet Centre on Sustainable Blue Economy, gathered 17 participants representing research institutes, universities, governmental agencies, NGOs and the private sector from 14 countries.

The training, led by Dr Maria Beger (WG3 co-leader, UK), Dr Ant Türkmen (WG3 co-leader, Turkey), and Dominic Muenzel (UK), aimed to convey the basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to integrate Connectivity into Marine Spatial Planning. It was delivered in a hybrid format, which allowed three more people to attend it online.

The event was a success and contributed to providing new skills to a variety of stakeholders in Europe and throughout the Mediterranean region and to improving the integration of science-policy-society interactions.

The first day of the workshop introduced general concepts in Connectivity, Conservation and Maritime Spatial Planning. This introductory course was primarily aimed at marine scientists and others involved in policy, management and large scale decision-making, who just wanted to get a general overview of connectivity data value and potential use for Maritime Spatial Planning.

The following 4 days were devoted to strengthening technical skills, on more practical aspects of decision-making in Spatial Planning. In particular, the trainees were initiated in the use of the Marxan Connect decision support tool, a graphical user interface enabling the integration of connectivity in the planning of protected area networks. The on-site participants apparently had a wonderful time and many fruitful interactions in Piran.

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