Marine Spatial Planning Resolving or entrenching conflicts over and in ocean space?

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This report is based on on-going collaborative research between the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Indonesian traditional fisher folk union, Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia (KNTI). For the past decade, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has become a popular policy tool to resolve conflicts over and in ocean space. Proponents claim that MSP can ensure a process that balances competing interests between different users of ocean space from large-scale extractive industries, to tourism companies to small-scale fishers.

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This report looks into the on-the-ground implications of MSP as it is currently unfolding in Indonesia: does MSP really solve conflicts and create win-win-win solutions on the economic, social and ecological front as proponents claim? Delving into a series of cases across the country, the report shows that far from solving conflicts, MSP creates new or exacerbates old conflicts over control of and access to coastal and marine resources. Such conflicts particularly impact on fishers and coastal communities who are the legitimate rights holders in these territories. As the report concludes, for fisher peoples’ movements the roll-out of MSP therefore raises important strategic questions concerning whether and how to engage in the process. With the increasingly global nature of MSP, the report’s analysis and discussion is relevant far beyond Indonesia.

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