ABPmer was commissioned by the Marine Institute to lead a series of EMFF-funded spatial data and evidence projects to support the development of the National Marine Planning Framework in Irish waters – Ireland’s first national marine plan.
Comprehensive set of datalayers for marine planning
The study entailed a comprehensive review of relevant spatial data and evidence that could be used to inform national marine planning. The review included an assessment of the suitability of spatial data, both in terms of quality and fitness for marine planning.
A gap analysis was carried out and used to develop a series of prioritized roadmaps for the development of additional spatial data and evidence products.
Subsequently around 100 new spatial data layers were developed under the contract using a standardised metadata system and a centralised repository for the curation of data products, as well as quality assurance and metadata provision for a large number of existing spatial data sets.
Natural capital and ecosystem services functioning
As part of the study, ABPmer also developed and applied a marine natural capital and ecosystem services framework. This framework was populated with available spatial data to create maps representing Ireland’s marine natural capital and ecosystem service flows.
Separately, the project also modelled and assessed how climate change might affect the marine ecosystem structure and function and the provision of ecosystem services over two timescales. A spatial analysis of the impact of future flooding events at both local and national scales formed part of the assessment of the effects of climate change.
This information has been used to understand the potential implications of climate change in Irish waters and the relevance for marine plan policies.