Winds of change

Recently the Nova Scotia Government announced a consultation process for the marine renewable energy future of the province. They rightly want to “…talk to experts, people who live by or make a living from the sea, and people interested in the overall health of the ocean.”

In Europe offshore wind power was and continues to be the biggest driver for current and forward looking marine planning. Here in Canada, provinces like Nova Scotia are leaping out ahead of our national government in setting and establishing firm targets for renewable energy. We need to be smarter in the way we manage oceans. Marine Spatial Planning is one tool that can help.

Marine Spatial Planning is a way to balance all the different interests that use the ocean from development to fishing to recreation to conservation, in order to create a strong sustainable local economy. Through this kind of planning, we can coordinate users and science, develop maps and databases and – especially useful in these economic times – find efficiencies with resources so we don’t have to re-invent the wheel or duplicate work.

WWF’s interest of course is conservation and it turns out that if you plan and coordinate to prevent conflict, habitats are saved and ecosystems benefit in the long run.

Our oceans may be the Wild West right now but as we can see on the east coast we don’t have a choice. We need to get smart about our planning and minimize conflict which will in turn have long term benefits for a prosperous and sustainable future oceans economy.