Pan Baltic Scope develops approaches to carrying out cumulative impact assessments when doing MSP. The results are part of the developing ecosystem-based toolbox for MSP.
The third work meeting on cumulative impacts assessment was held on 13 and 14 December 2018 at the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in Riga. This Pan Baltic Scope activity aims to meet the increasing need for expert capacity in carrying out cumulative impacts assessments and to evaluate connection points between MSP and environmental management.
The activity is led by HELCOM and is brought forward by experts from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Sweden and Poland. The group represents knowledge on MSP, cumulative impacts assessment, and environmental management, in order to further the joint development.
FOCAL POINTS OF THE MEETING
The meeting focused on detailing the concept of impact chains, which help the user understand what pressures may arise from human activities at sea, and how these may influence environmental objectives. The meeting also outlined the planned cases studies which will be carried out in 2019.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Cumulative impact assessment is a key tool when implementing the ecosystem-based approach.
- Cumulative impacts assessments link strongly to the concept of green infrastructure
- Human activities have impacts on the sea environment, but the prospects for carrying out several human activities are also dependent on environmental status.
- There is a need in countries to move towards increasingly quantitative assessments, to identify transboundary issues, and develop coherence in approaches for how to deal with these issues.
- The Pan Baltic Scope activity on cumulative impacts will contribute to the development of common understanding and increased knowledge capacity on how to carry out the assessments.
DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDANCE
The cumulative impacts activity will be presented in a method report by the end of 2019.
The Pan Baltic Scope cumulative impact assessment tool will be incorporated in the Pan Baltic Scope ecosystem based toolbox.