Workshop 4: Good environmental status of the Baltic Sea

Workshop 4: Maritime Spatial Planning, towards good environmental status of the Baltic Sea

HELCOM – the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – is currently updating the major regional policy agreement – the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). Ministers of the HELCOM countries declared in the Brussels Ministerial Declaration 2018 that the ultimate goal of the updated BSAP remains unchanged – achieving good environmental status (GES) of the Baltic Sea. Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), applying ecosystem-based approach, was recognized as a unique tool for the integrated management of human activities at sea aiming at reducing environmental pressure and, thus, contributing to the progress towards the GES.

The workshop will discuss how MSP can contribute to the progress towards GES of the Baltic Sea: flagging ecologically valuable areas; steering human activities away from the environmentally sensitive areas; reducing environmental pressure on the marine ecosystem; and at the same time facilitating sustainable economic growth and catering for societal demands. The workshop will highlight how MSP assures coherency of various policies seeking synergies between them at regional level and at the level of sea sub-basins. The workshop key themes will be:

  • MSP in the updated HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the link with the new Regional MSP Roadmap.
  • Ecosystem-based approach in MSP: existing regional framework and plans for the development.
  • Coherency of international policies in MSP – example of the EU Biodiversity Strategy



  • Renewed effort towards good environmental status of the Baltic Sea – BSAP update and new Regional MSP Roadmap. Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky, Professional Secretary of HELCOM
  • Ecosystem-based approach in marine spatial planning and strategic environmental assessments. Kerstin Schiele,  Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW)
  • Ecosystem Based Maritime Spatial Planning in Europe and how to assess it. Vanessa Ryan, WWF Finland
  • Linkages between the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and MSP – spatial implications (i.e. MPA, etc.). Penina Blankett Ministerial Adviser at the Finnish Ministry of the Environment / Varjopuro Riku Finnish Environment Institute


Panel discussion moderated by Jan Schmidtbauer Crona, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management