Capacity4MSP 3rd Project Partner meeting

The 3rd Capacity4MSP project platform’s partner meeting was held online on 16 march 2021. This meeting was crucial for project partners to discuss draft project reports and collect feedback from partners for further developments. Main discussion topics are listed below.

As more than a half of the project implementation is past, at the beginning of the meeting project partners were asked to share their thoughts that characterise project implementation so far. Most of the answers reflect to the new mode of work – digital environment to which we all had to adjust during the project implementation.

The meeting started with the update on project activities presented by each partner. Maritime Institute of Gdynia Maritime University presented the progress of planned Synthesis report with policy messages of current maritime spatial planning (MSP) activities and projects. Most comments from the partners are integrated in the 5th draft of the report and the work is ongoing for the report’s 2nd part. It takes form of policy messages for MSP underlying what themes need additional support for their development in the current stage of the BSR MSP development. The policy messages of the Synthesis report will be presented and discussed at the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group meeting.

Submariner Network presented progress of the report on identified mechanisms for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of MSP. A first draft has been shared with partners, it is based on the literature review, directives, guidelines, review of MSP documents (country fiches) and detailed interviews with experts. As a next step, MSP authorities will be asked to review and verify report structure and content.

HELCOM Secretariat presented progress of the promotion of BASEMAPS, reported the events where the tool was demonstrated. A ‘help-desk’ session on BASEMAPS and further discussions will be organised on 25 March 2021 back-to-back with the BSR MSP Data Expert Sub-group. The final guides will be presented at the 4th Baltic MSP Forum in June 2021. Regarding the activity on the development of proposal for institutionalised mechanisms for a regular follow up of progress in MSP on the regional sea level, HELCOM Secretariat presented first proposal for the themes of this follow up mechanism. They are:

  • MSP Roadmap list of milestones and outputs;
  • Regular check of the HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG workplan;
  • Checklist of the cross-border coherence; Follow up of the BSAP.
    All themes will be discussed within HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG meetings.

The activity on developing the Russian MSP Roadmap is managed by Scientific and Research Institute of Maritime Spatial Planning Ermak NorthWest and Russian State Hydrometeorological University. Regarding the progress of the Roadmap, reconciliation of spatial data on sea use has been completed and sectoral shape-files have been prepared. In addition, spatial data on natural conditions and economic activities were collected and analysed, sketches of options for sectoral further development were prepared. Several upcoming events are planned to discuss these topics. A Stakeholder Survey report was completed and translated into English, report is available HERE.

Workshop ‘Tackling land-sea interactions on the way towards Blue Growth in Baltic Sea Region’ was organised on 3 March 2021 within the project activity ‘Cross-sectoral dialogue’. Summary and presentations of the workshop are available HERE. Upcoming workshops will take place on 27 April 2021 about MSP and the Blue Bioeconomy and will be hosted by Submariner Network. The aim of the workshop is to support improved spatial planning of emerging sectors by developing a Baltic Sea wide effective system for identification and monitoring of Blue Bioeconomy sites. Furthermore, in autumn 2021, it is planned to organise several workshops:

  • on cumulative impact assessment;
  • discussion on the results of Synthesis report;
  • workshop on rethinking the vision concept. Potentially,
  • there might be organised workshops on sociological/ cultural aspects in MSP and smart MSP.

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management introduced with the activities done under the ‘Planners’ dialogue’. Last Planner’s Forum was organised on 11 November 2020 and next on 17 March 2021. Continuous is the elaboration of Terms of Reference draft for Planners Forum concept.

VASAB Secretariat is leading activity on stakeholder involvement and engagement into MSP. The 3rd draft of the report was distributed to the project partners in February 2021. During the meeting briefly was presented the report. The recommendations drafted with the report will be discussed at the Planners’ Forum on 17 March 2021. The report will be also presented during HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG meeting on 21 April 2021. The main results of the report will be presented during 4th Baltic MSP Forum on 1-2 June 2021 (workshop session dedicated to stakeholder involvement).

At the end of the meeting, the discussion was held about the project’s communication activities, mainly the final conference – the 4th Baltic MSP Forum on 1-2 June 2021. The project partners were introduced with the draft agenda and workshop list. Also, the events online platform and it’s functions. In total 6 workshops will be organised by Capacity4MSP project, each workshop leader presented workshop draft template. The registration of the event is available HERE. More information about the event –

During the meeting VASAB Secretariat informed project partners about current MSP related activities in the BSR where the work of Capacity4MSP has been beneficial – update of strategies & plans around the Baltic Sea. Regarding VASAB Long-Term Perspective, the update is launched. Actions within HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to be approved by mid-2021. In addition, the adoption of BSR MSP Roadmap till 2030 is put in VASAB CSDP/BSR & HELCOM HOD. As regards revised EUSBSR Action Plan, it is adopted by EC on 17 February 2021. Also, referring to HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group`s Mandate, the discussions for prolongation will be carried out along with the new Work Plan 2022-2024.

The next project partner meeting will take place in Autumn 2021.