United Nations
PADDLE: planning in a liquid world with tropical stakes. Solutions from an EU/Africa/Brazil perspective
by Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France (Academic institution)
Marine environments are subject to growing pressures such as traffic, increasing demand and changing land-use of coastal areas, seabed exploitation, dredging or mining, fishing, tourism, development of renewable energies, and other. Sustainably managed oceans and seas can contribute to economic growth and employment not only in Europe but around the world, Tropical Atlantic included. Following the Galway Statement on Atlantic Cooperation, the Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic Area and the joint Declaration by EU and Brazil, several events and processes are beginning to consider the Tropical Atlantic as a shared resource between the European Union (EU), Africa and Brazil. The PADDLE Consortium will be part of this new transatlantic Partnership whose aim is to develop a more inclusive Atlantic Community.

Financed by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, The PADDLE project aims to elevate policy innovation at the heart of the development of tropical marine spatial planning. It will bring together researchers and actors from countries bordering the Tropical Atlantic and from the European Union to create a network, which will build theory and create methods for a pertinent marine spatial planning (MSP) in tropical zones by means of collaborative platform.

The PADDLE project allows to build a network capable of generating innovative opportunities and identifying the limits of scientific tools to reboot the debate on the governance of tropical marine resources. To this end, PADDLE is organized in five interrelated work packages (WPs) with specific goals and deliverables:
Coordination, training and Dissemination
Key ecosystem dynamics for MSP
Policy and Governance Dynamics in MSP
Challenges and Solutions for Tropical Atlantic MSP
Collaborative platform for innovative MSP

Countries on each side of the Tropical Atlantic will be used as case studies in PADDLE (Senegal, Cape Verde, Brazil). The three countries chosen for the case studies have a strong history of fisheries, recent experience in offshore energy production, a real need to maintain artisanal fisheries, and to share exploitation of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelves with other countries (fisheries agreement, oil exploitation, offshore wind farms). Conciliating human activities at sea generates challenges. Failures and success stories need to be shared between the case studies.

PADDLEs Specific Objectives:

1. Enhance career prospects for African, Brazilian and European academics and practitioners by building on a multidisciplinary and multicultural consortium of renewed experts in a wide range of complementary fields of expertise

2. Develop an expert network, building on existing and newly established collaborative relationships, to improve and strengthen collaboration between local and foreign scientists.

3. Share and integrate approaches and knowledge among academic and non-academic partners to develop and innovate MSP practices and instruments

4. Identify the needs and potential impacts of MSP on the societal, political and ecological dynamics in the Tropical Atlantic by consolidating existing research collaboration.

5. Develop, apply and disseminate innovative tools and platforms for knowledge-based tropical marine spatial planning

6. Contribute to the aims of the Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic Area (2013) and EU Blue Growth scheme
Progress reports
July 2019
Creation of the PADDLE Network
July 2021
Creation of a platform on opportunities and limit of marine spatial planning in tropical areas
Financing (in USD)
1,600,000 USD
In-kind contribution
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734271
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2017 - July 2021
Universite de Bretagne Occidentale - UBO Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS Universite de Nantes - U NANTES Gaspar Frutuoso Foundation - FGF Fciencias.id - associacao para a investigacao e desenvolvimento de Ciencias - FCINCIAS.ID Wageningen university - WU Universidad de Sevilla - USE Leibniz-zentrum fuer marine tropenforschung -ZMT Terra maris Creocean Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - UCAD National institute for the development of fisheries - INDP The Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco - UFRPE Universidade Federal de Pernambuco - UFPE Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie - IPM Universidade Federal de Paraíba - UFPB Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature Sénégal - IUCN
Ocean Basins
  • South Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Ludovic Mollier, Sustainable Development Goals & Financing for Development Officer, ludovic.mollier@ird.fr,
Marseille, France
Other SDGs
United Nations