OCEANIC PARTICIPATORY PROCESS
Given the existence of heterogeneity in scientific data, distinct groups of stakeholders, and socio-economic impacts to be considered in conservation scenarios, two participatory processes were conducted, focusing on oceanic and coastal areas.
1. OCEANIC PROCESS
Focused on the areas between 6 and 200 nautical miles from the coast.
2. COASTAL PROCESS
Focused on the areas between the coastline and 6 nautical miles.
The boundary of the "6 nautical miles" was based on existing legislation, which divides the type of human activities that take place within and beyond the 6 nautical miles, given that users of these two areas are different. Thus, the 6 nautical miles were accepted as a boundary to differentiate the coastal process from the oceanic process.
In this context, acting with the conviction that the commitment to protect 30% of the ocean is only possible with the involvement of marine users, Blue Azores organized over 40 meetings with a total of 17 representatives from various sectors, including maritime-tourism companies, fishermen, maritime transport, non-governmental organizations, the scientific community, government departments, and authorities.
Oceanic Participatory Process in Numbers
MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE MEETINGS
1. Create a collaborative design of oceanic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), in the marine territory of the Azores, which took into account the contributions and vision of all those involved.
2. Develop a unified vision for the ocean, which incorporates specific conservation goals, as well as the criteria for achieving those goals.
3. Present the available scientific data in the region, which served as a basis for the discussion on priority marine areas to protect.
4. Identify additional measures and challenges related to these objectives, including solutions to reconcile protection with economic activities and ensure MPA implementation through monitoring, enforcement, among others.
Throughout the process, Blue Azores sought to provide technical support and scientific advice, guided by principles of transparency and collaboration with stakeholders.
Stakeholders involved in this participatory process, called the Working Group, included the following entities: