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Monitoring and Evaluation of Spatially Managed Areas (MESMA) (MESMA)
Start date: Nov 1, 2009, End date: Oct 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The increasing pressures upon the marine realm call for a well planned approach of further spatial development of this area. An ecosystem-based approach to fisheries, the increasing demand for sustainable energy, coastal defence systems, building materials and safe transport routes and the need to protect marine habitats and species all compete for the same valuable space. At the same time climate change will alter the composition and functioning of marine ecosystems, calling for a robust approach of future spatial planning that also takes cross boundary developments into account. MESMA will supply innovative methods and integrated strategies for governments, local authorities, stakeholders and other managerial bodies for planning and decision making at different local, national and European scales. This will also comprise an easy accessible information system to gain support from politicians, stakeholders and the public in general for difficult (inter)national decisions that will be needed for sustainable use and protection of this vulnerable area. This data system, containing information on the distribution of marine habitats and species, economic values and benefits and human uses and its effects will also be an interface between science, policy and decision makers.MESMA will supply strategic tools for sustainable development of European seas and coastal areas. The major challenge is to combine an optimized use with a sustained ecosystem of high quality, taking into account ecological and economic differences. By studying and comparing different national situations and solutions from a selected number of sites throughout Europe and by determining common features and differences, including the socio-economic settings and requirements, an integrated toolbox that can be applied throughout Europe will be made available.
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