Marxan workshop: Using a systematic conservation planning approach to enhance the marine spatial planning process in Europe

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General information

This workshop is intended for scientists involved or interested in marine spatial planning and the use of decision support tools.

The core of this workshop is the use and evaluation of Marxan within the marine spatial (and conservation) planning process in (at least) five of the above mentioned European case studies. Currently these case studies are: the Bay of Biscay (Spain), the Skagerrak (Norway), the Strait of Sicily (Italy), the Ionian Sea (Greece) and the Belgian Part of the North Sea (Belgium).


Day 1 : Introduction to the workshop & presentations on the use of Marxan for MSP in the different case studies Day 2 : Comparison of the results & lessons learned. Determination of the common themes, challenges and (dis)similarities in the case studies
Day 3-4 : Writing the comparison paper
Day 5 : Continue writing, summary of workshop achievements & next steps


Learning outcome:

The outcome will be a comparison paper,  synthesizing  the main findings of the separate case studies, by addressing the following questions:

  • What are the  challenges encountered across EU  Member  States  (and  associated countries) to implement MSP at the local and regional levels?
  • Can Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) in general, and specifically the decision support tool Marxan, help to overcome these challenges?

The overall aim of this  Marxan workshop  is to  test  the usefulness of a  specific  decision support tool (Marxan) to underpin and enhance the Marine Spatial Planning process (MSP) in Europe. The idea stems from the EU-FP7 project MESMA (Monitoring & Evaluation of Spatially Managed Areas,  2009-2013)  in which  tools were tested, a framework was developed and governance analyses were executed within nine case studies (see

Contact Person: Ellen Pecceu (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: VAC Virginie Loveling
Gent, Belgium

VAC Virginie Loveling (near railwaystation Ghent- Sint-Pieters)
Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70
9000 Gent, Belgium



Knowledge of the Marxan software is required. 


Academic level: PhD, Lifelong Learning
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