The Norwegian Government in early 2007 initiated a process of Integrated and Ecosystem-based Management of the marine environment of the Norwegian Sea. A two year period of assessment work, including public consultation, was finalised with the release of a governmental white paper May 2009. Based on the scientific assessment the Government gave notice of relevant measures and requirements to prevent and/or reduce the magnitude of negative impacts of human activities in the area at the same time encouraging continued industrial developments. This paper addresses the scientific working process including the effort made to collect and present data, select representative ecosystem indicators, assess impacts on these from the various activities and the approach applied to assess cumulative effects. The paper further focuses on the petroleum sector part of this prosess, and results on relevant aspects to the offshore petroleum industry as well as potential conflict areas and the political solutions with regard to other human activities and the marine ecosystem components.

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