Gold Rush or Pandora’s Box? Toward a Transparent and Measured Approach to Marine Spatial Planning in Portugal

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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  • 1 cics.nova, Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences, fcsh-Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal Marine Resource Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis, or, usa mare—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Lisbon, Portugal Seascape Consultants Ltd, Belbins Valley, Belbins, Romsey, uk

This article explores the new legal framework for marine spatial planning (msp) in Portugal. The main focus of the analysis is on the drivers of msp processes, the consideration given to existing vs. new uses, and on the evaluation of alternatives, based on the u.s. experience, with a focus on perceptions of u.s. msp practitioners. The Portuguese framework for msp may lead to favoring new uses over existing ones and defines ambiguous criteria for the selection of alternatives that are mostly financial in nature. The article draws attention to the potential environmental, social and economic risks of improperly addressing competing marine uses in the new Portuguese msp framework.

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