As one step in Marine Spatial Planning the MACBIO project developed bioregions, or the classification of the marine environment into spatial units that host similar biota across the South West Pacific. Based on a scientific, technical process draft bioregions were developed and discussed and confirmed during a workshop in February 2018 resulting in the report on Bioregions at national scale for the Solomon Islands.
The MACBIO project classify the entire marine environment within the MACBIO participating countries to inform, in particular, their national marine spatial and marine protected area planning efforts. The draft outputs are marine bioregions that include reef-associated and deepwater biodiversity assemblages with complete spatial coverage at a scale useful for national planning. Results for the Solomon Islands have been presented to the marine experts and government of the Solomon Islands for review.
Marine Bioregions of the Southwest Pacific - Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries (MACBIO)
Bioregions, of course, are just one of the important data layers in indentifying an ecologically representative system of marine protected areas. To be truly ecologically representative and comprehensive, one must also consider all available information about habitats, species and ecological processes. In addition, socio-economic and cultural considerations are vital in the spatial planning process. This report is focussed upon one important, but only one, input to marine spatial planning: the development of marine bioregions.