"Ecosystem approach to marine spatial planning – Polish marine areas and the Natura 2000 network"
The proposed project will be executed under the auspices of the Polish research institutes partnership (Institute of Oceanology, PAS; Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk; Maritime Institute in Gdansk; Sea Fisheries Institute; Polish Geological Institute), Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), and an SME (GEOMOR Geoscience and Marine Research & Consulting Company). This consortium combines elements of the most recent science (up-to-date evaluation of biological diversity and valorisation of marine areas) and technological (latest achievements in geostatistics and measurement techniques) and practical applications (marine area spatial planning).
During the 24-month project, methodology for inventorying ecosystem resources will be developed for Polish marine areas (PMA) based on European standards (habitat classification according to the modified EUNIS system). The techniques applied will include up-to-date technology for identifying marine habitats (satellite imagery, hydroacoustic methods, remote-operated vehicle with video), which will permit creating the first complete set of maps of PMA habitats. These are necessary for the maintenance of biodiversity and spatial planning within the context of the NATURA network.
The project will exploit the experience of Norwegian researchers, who are the most advanced in Europe in creating marine area ecosystem valorisation maps.
The tangible results of the project will include scientific publications in peer-reviewed periodicals, publishing a guide for data collection, creating ecosystem valorisation maps, creating and publishing (on CD-ROM) of Atlas of Polish Marine Area Habitats.
Website of the project in Polish and English (www.habitat-pom.eu) will permit disseminating the information generated by the project to a wide range of end-users.
The project products will permit the rationalization of the process of creating PMA spatial planning maps, which will allow Poland to fulfil international obligations (i.e., HELCOM Recommendation 12/9).
The project will conclude with workshops during which representatives of the state administration and local governments will receive training and information in the application of project results.