Abstract for: The Algoa Bay Marine Planning Tool: An Exploratory System Dynamics Model to Support Marine Planning and Management
Algoa Bay is a densely utilised marine space. The high degree of dependency of human activities on the marine environment poses significant pressure on the health of this environment and further introduces conflict between users in the marine space. Future coastal and marine development in Algoa Bay is expected to exacerbate these pressures and conflicts, stressing the need for a holistic, integrated approach. Integrated Ocean Management approaches, such as Marine Spatial Planning, require context-specific assessments of socio-ecological marine systems in order to develop targeted, feasible policies and progress their implementation. To do this, multiple competing and conflicting sectoral objectives need to be integrated to improve decision-making in MSP. An appropriate analytical tool to achieve this goal is a system dynamics model that incorporates various sectors and provides solutions that can be translated into planning and policy. This study reports on the development process of the Algoa Bay Marine Planning Tool, a model that aims to explore the socio-ecological dynamics of human uses in Algoa Bay. The involvement of stakeholders through the Algoa Bay Collaborative Dynamic Modelling Process further assisted in model formulation and verification and demonstrated a collaborative approach to MSP. Such tools and processes are critical towards developing marine policies and management pathways for a sustainable blue economy.