Ocean planning vision for Brazil
Posted by Leandra Goncalves | São Paulo, Brazil
Brazilian ocean planning at the EEZ level is still largely fragmented and sectorial, limiting the capacity of the country to efficiently use its associated ecosystems services. For instance, marine spatial planning (MSP) has traditionally been seen in Brazil as an environmental conservation tool, than what really is to help countries implement ecosystem-based management. Thus, the matter is debated only between conservationists oriented with a positive view, or in more open forum, where industrial and business stakeholders are very often skeptical to the implementation of this tool. Ocean planning is also largely limited at subnational levels but, in recent years, in several locations government and societal institutions are trying to kick-off demonstrative MSP case studies, in a clear attempt to drive adaptation of Brazilian ocean policies from the bottom-up. Most notably we may refer to the Babitonga Bay, the southernmost large representative of a mangrove ecosystem in the subtropical Atlantic, and the Bahia and Espírito Santo coast, a tropical area sheltering endangered coral reef systems (the Abrolhos bank). In both cases, there are opportunities to co-design a network of MPAs as the core of a broader MSP process. The collaboration with the Benioff Ocean Initiative would be critical for helping local partners in scaling-up MSP towards building an ocean planning vision for the whole Blue Amazon, likely influencing ocean policy development at the South Atlantic level.