To explore the concepts of multiple capital approaches and how these could be applied to better understand carrying capacity and trade-offs in the east marine plan area.
The project provided valuable insight into the five capitals approach and some immediate outcomes which could be applied by the Marine Management Organisation’s marine planning team.
HMC were commissioned to conduct a ‘thought piece’ for the MMO to explore how a five capitals approach could be applied to their marine planning process at multiple scales. The MMO wanted to know whether the five capitals approach could help them better understand the carrying capacity of the east marine plan area and ultimately to inform trade-offs between sectors and policies.
HMC started with a comprehensive literature review and an expert workshop to explore the five capitals approach. Insights gained from these activities informed the creation of a novel five capitals asset register for three key sectors in the east marine plan area, and asset network maps to help the MMO better understand and visualise the interrelationships between natural, social, human, manufactured, and financial capitals. Lastly, a conceptual framework, aligned with the marine planning cycle and driven by a participatory process, was developed to demonstrate how the approach could be applied in practice. Recommendations were made to help advance thinking further, fill evidence gaps, and trial the conceptual framework.
This project contributed valuable insights for the MMO and provides a new opportunity to deliver a transparent, robust, and stakeholder-informed process that could be applied in complex situations, with multiple actors and many potential outcomes; ultimately leading to a more equitable and sustainable blue economy for England.
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