New Guide to Evaluating Marine Plans

Marine spatial plans are being developed in over 40 countries around the world, to distribute human activities in marine areas more sustainably and achieve ecological, social, and economic objectives. However, monitoring and evaluation are often considered only after a plan has been developed. The new guide released by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) will assist marine planners and managers monitor and evaluate the success of marine plans in achieving real results and outcomes.

Entitled “A Guide to Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans”, it emphasizes the importance of early integration of monitoring and evaluation in the planning process, the importance of measurable and specific objectives, clear management actions, relevant indicators and targets, and involvement of stakeholders throughout the planning process.

In addition to the guide, a new website supports the eight-step approach outlined in the guide through brief interviews with 10 Marine Spatial Planning professionals that summarized their practical experiences with monitoring and evaluation. The website was produced by IOC-UNESCO in partnership with the OpenChannels Forum for Ocean Planning and Management and Green Fire Productions. Financial support for development of both the guide and the website was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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