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System analysis for decision support in the allocation of Marine Protected Areas in the Belgian part of the North Sea
Rabaut, M.A. (2004). System analysis for decision support in the allocation of Marine Protected Areas in the Belgian part of the North Sea, in: MARELAC Thesis presentation 2003-2004 (abstracts). pp. 14
In: MARELAC (2004). Thesis presentation 2003-2004 (abstracts). Universiteit Gent; MARELAC: Gent. 15 pp., more

Also published as
  • Rabaut, M.A. (2004). System analysis for decision support in the allocation of Marine Protected Areas in the Belgian part of the North Sea. MSc Thesis. Universiteit Gent; MARELAC: Gent. 46 pp., more

Available in Author 
Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
    Conservation; Environmental impact; Marine parks; Policies; System analysis; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [Marine Regions]; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Rabaut, M.A., more

Abstract
    Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been recognised as a viable tool for marine conservation by conservationists, resource managers, scientists and coastal planners. They are however often implemented without a firm understanding of the economic, social and ecological consequences. This literature review merges many of the thoughts with respect to MPAs. The construction of conceptual qualitative flow charts allows developing transparent system analysis. This is a mental mapping exercise that visualises links between and within user groups. It acts as a Decision Support System, and as a tool for easy public information and participation. The different levels of system thinking and their linkages are visualised in a general flow chart. Departing from public support and clear policy objectives, the core message is quantifying the parameters. Specific flow charts are established to define different economic impacts (fisheries, sand and gravel extraction, tourism, windmill farms). It became clear that fisheries and tourism can benefit most from an MPA establishment. Ecological impacts are important in nature conservation and drive most socio-economic impacts. Ecological interactions are therefore described in depth and visualised in a specific flow chart. The social impacts cannot be underestimated and are visualised in the general flow chart. The flow charts are designed to show the existing links between user groups of a temperate marine area. During the establishment of this conceptual model, the Belgian situation was emphasised. The high activity level and data availability make it possible to discriminate the MPA effects from the noise, which is highly controversial until now. The challenge is now to quantify this qualitative model.

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