News: What’s next on Maritime Spatial Planning?

European Commission CINEA Website

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) requires strategic vision to coordinate the use of the sea for marine protection et human activities. It needs reliable and comparable data and good cooperation between EU Member States, and with their neighbouring countries.

CINEA and DG MARE held two workshops with a spotlight on the most burning issues in Maritime Spatial Planning, with the support of the EU MSP Assistance Mechanism. The events brought together more than 300 experts and policy-makers.

Data harmonisation in Maritime Spatial Planning

National Maritime Spatial Plans need information related to a great variety of issues, from environmental status and biodiversity to suitable economic activities in coastal areas.

Since its establishment in 2020, the Technical Expert Group on Data for Maritime Spatial Planning (TEG Data) has been dealing with the current state of play of MSP data management, also supporting “Action I: Data for MSP” under the Updated MSP Global roadmap of the European Commission (DG MARE) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO). 

On 13 March 2024, the TEG Data  presented the latest MSP data tools and guidance to help EU Member States to harmonise data collection and find the right data. Its work led to five publications.

These publications tackle challenges such as data comparability, data reliability, data standardisation and harmonisation, using common terminology. They offer practical methods and tools that can support member states’ planners and MSP practitioners in their work. These were presented during the workshop in a practical way, illustrated with concrete examples.

Around 300 people attended the workshop, which was also supported by IOC-UNESCO and the Union for the Mediterranean.

More information on the workshop, its recording, and the presentations delivered, are all accessible here.

Challenges and recommendations for Maritime Spatial Plans

The European Commission has been funding several projects to improve Maritime Spatial Planning processes. Experts of nine EU projects funded under EMFF/EMFAF and Horizon Europe took part in a workshop on 14 March 2024 to discuss current and future challenges of Maritime Spatial Planning.

In an interactive process, the projects coordinators shared their experience and identified three key challenges for further work on MSP:

  1. Ecosystem and biodiversity conservation: Environmental aspects, including how to ensure establishment of Marine Protected Areas as integrated part of MSP processes 
  2. Transboundary context and cross-border cooperation, including cooperation with third countries 
  3. Taking into account Climate Change in MSP – “Climate Smart MSP” 

Learn more here


News Posted on 09/04/2024