TheWay Forwardand Lessons Learned As with all marine spatial plans, the development of a Norwegian management plan is an iterative process; a continuous cycle of monitoring and revision (Olsen et al 2014). Initially, three advisory groups were set up to implement and follow up the plan on a yearly basis, but presently this is overseen by two advisory groups: aManagement Forum and a Monitoring Group, with members from 16 key agencies and research institutions. Integrated Marine Management planning is a heavily science-based process (Buhl- Mortensen et al 2012). Planning is based on the latest knowledge of ecosystem structure and functioning, and of the impacts of human activity.The participatory approach helps to build consensus on the scientific and factual basis for decision making and follow-up procedures ensure that information is up-dated as needed. Gaps are to be addressed through large scale mapping, research and monitoring programmes (for example, mapping of the seabed (MAREANO), mapping and monitoring of seabird populations (SEAPOP), mapping and monitoring of pollution, environmental monitoring, geological mapping).
Satisfactory management of the Barents Sea will also involve close international cooperation, particularly between Norway and Russia, and include the development of a management plan for the Russian part of the Barents Sea. The management plans also ensure that Norway fulfils international obligations (e.g. the Law of the Sea Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Johannesburg Declaration, the Malawi-Protocol, the UN Agreement on Management of Straddling Fish Stocks, the Stockholm Convention, the OSPAR Convention, the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) – although, these also put constraints on the design of the management plans. Furthermore, an Ecosystem Approach to management is an important theme for Norway in international cooperation within a range of fora (e.g. the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, the Arctic Council, the EU, the Nordic Council, Norwegian-Russian cooperation (environment and fisheries) and the UN International Maritime Organization).
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