What are the most appropriate areas for the development/implementation of a new activity? Is it possible to develop a new maritime activity while existing/traditional ones are kept at least at the same level? Is the coexistence of two activities possible? If necessary, what is the negative impact of the closure of one area or another to a specific activity? Is it possible to relocate the fishing effort according to your needs?

Answering these and other questions is the aim of the VAPEM project, Environmental Assessment and Marine Spatial Planning.

Thus, this initiative is based on the need for operational approaches that integrate ecosystem services into management and decision-making and suggests that the mapping and evaluation of ecosystem services can be a potential framework that links different sectoral and environmental policies.


To support managers in adopting the best decisions for the management of marine activities.

Specific objectives:

  • Collection of environmental and marine information that can be used to feed models and decision support tools
  • Assessment, evaluation and mapping of marine ecosystem services
  • Development of Marine Spatial Planning tools and their application in specific case studies


Within the framework of the VAPEM project, a battery of tools has been developed which, by integrating knowledge of the functioning of the ecosystem, serve to evaluate the benefits that the marine environment provides to human beings, and which in turn help to design management measures aimed at its rational use to guarantee the growth and sustainability of human activities in the marine environment.

Products obtained

  • Marine Ecosystem Services: mapping and assessment
  • Environmental risk maps: footprint of human activities and vulnerability
  • Decision-making tools in the implementation of Marine Spatial Planning Development and implementation of models. Creation of scenarios



BASQUE GOVERNMENT, Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment



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