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Conserv Biol. 2018 Oct;32(5):1107-1117. doi: 10.1111/cobi.13134. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Addressing transboundary conservation challenges through marine spatial prioritization.

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Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments, Università Iuav di Venezia, Tolentini, 191, 30135, Venice, Italy.
ARC Centre of Excellence of Environmental Decision, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia.
National Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, Arsenale, Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F, 30122, Venice, Italy.
Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, Lošinj Marine Education Centre, Kaštel 24, 51551, Veli Lošinj, Croatia.
Department of Biodiversity, FAMNIT, University of Primorska, Glagoljaška 8, SI-6000, Koper, Slovenia.
Sound Seas, Bethesda, MD, U.S.A.
The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, U.S.A.


The Adriatic and Ionian Region is an important area for both strategic maritime development and biodiversity conservation in the European Union (EU). However, given that both EU and non-EU countries border the sea, multiple legal and regulatory frameworks operate at different scales, which can hinder the coordinated long-term sustainable development of the region. Transboundary marine spatial planning can help overcome these challenges by building consensus on planning objectives and making the trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and its influence on economically important sectors more explicit. We address this challenge by developing and testing 4 spatial prioritization strategies with the decision-support tool Marxan, which meets targets for biodiversity conservation while minimizing impacts to users. We evaluated these strategies in terms of how priority areas shift under different scales of target setting (e.g., regional vs. country level). We also examined the trade-off between cost-efficiency and how equally solutions represent countries and maritime industries (n = 14) operating in the region with the protection-equality metric. We found negligible differences in where priority conservation areas were located when we set targets for biodiversity at the regional versus country scale. Conversely, the prospective impacts on industries, when considered as costs to be minimized, were highly divergent across scenarios and biased the placement of protection toward industries located in isolation or where there were few other industries. We recommend underpinning future marine spatial planning efforts in the region through identification of areas of national significance, transboundary areas requiring cooperation between countries, and areas where impacts on maritime industries require careful consideration of the trade-off between biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic objectives.


Adriatic and Ionian region; MARXAN; Marxan; Marxan软件; Región Adriática y Jónica; compensaciones; conservation planning; equidad en la protección; industrias marinas; marine spatial planning; maritime industries; planificación de la conservación; planificación especial marina; protection equality; trade-offs; 亚得里亚和爱奥尼亚地区 (Adriatic and Ionian region); 保护的平等性; 保护规划; 利弊权衡; 海洋产业; 海洋空间规划


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