Capacity4MSP 4th Project Partner meeting

The 4th Capacity4MSP project platform’s partner meeting was held online on 23 November 2021. This meeting’s focus was to share the updates of the project activities, set the goals for the upcoming four project implementation months and discuss the project result dissemination. Main discussion topics are listed below.

The meeting started with the update on project activities presented by each partner. Maritime Institute of Gdynia Maritime University presented the results of the development of the Synthesis report with resultant policy messages of current maritime spatial planning (MSP) activities and projects. Report is ready and uploaded on the project website HERE. Further dissemination activities are under consideration. The report was already presented at the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group meeting in November.

A report on identified mechanisms for the implementation of MSP developed by Submariner Network is in its final stage as the final cross-checking from the relevant BSR MSP authorities is required. It is expected that by the end of January 2022, the report will be publicly available.

Ongoing are the BASEMAPS data portal help-desk sessions organised by the HELCOM Secretariat. This year two sessions were organised on 25 March 2021 and 14 October 2021. BASEMAPS was promoted at the EU MSP Technical Expert Group on Data meetings and MSPMED Workshop on data. In addition, the final user guides were presented during the 4th Baltic MSP Forum on 1-2 June 2021. It was agreed that BASEMAPS is a living instrument that walks hand-in-hand with the development of MSP in the Baltic.
Proposal for institutionalised mechanisms for a regular follow up of progress in MSP on the regional sea level was submitted to the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group meeting on 16-17 November 2021. The meeting discussed the relevance of this proposal and noted that this systematic approach could ease the work to follow-up the activities of the Working Group but also the national MSP developments. In addition, the meeting agreed to test the approach on the national MSP developments for the next HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG and to further discuss the possible long-term implementation of such follow-up for future meetings.

The first draft of the proposal for MSP Roadmap for Russia is finalised and submitted to the Scientific Expert Council of the Marine Board under the Government of the Russian Federation as well as to the project supporting platform for the comments. Activity leaders from Ermak North West and Russian State Hydrometeorological University have organised several MSP sessions and roundtables to raise awareness and collect feedbacks for the development of the Russian MSP Roadmap.

Cross-sectoral dialogue activities are continued, in December 2021 two workshops are planned: ‘Vision and Strategies for Coherent MSP Framework’ will be organised on 2 December 2021 (online) and the workshop on Cumulative Impacts of Maritime Activities will be organised on 6-7 December 2021 in Copenhagen by Aalborg University. Under consideration is the preparation of a publicly available report with the summaries from organised workshops.

Furthermore, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management continues the Planners’ dialogue activities. The terms of reference for Planners’ Forum as a lasting mechanism is elaborated and communicated with HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG and VASAB. Proposal will be finalised after a Planning forum drafting round taking place in November/ December 2021. 4th Planners’ Forum took place on 24 November online and the 5th Forum is planned in spring 2022.

The stakeholder involvement and engagement in MSP activities are finalised, VASAB Secretariat together with the Baltic Environment Forum presented the results during the HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG meeting on 21 April 2021 and the 4th Baltic MSP Forum on 1-2 June 2021. Report is available HERE.

During the meeting two main discussions between partners were made – discussion on project deliverable dissemination and project closing event. The project’s closing event is planned in spring 2022 in two parts – internal and external event. The internal event could serve as the final PP meeting and/or Planners’ Forum. The external event is targeted to various stakeholders and will cover the presentation of project results (e.g., exhibition), a panel discussion with MSP planners, the policy debate on future MSP, etc.

Additionally, VASAB Secretariat informed project partners about an overview of MSP related activities in the BSR where the work of Capacity4MSP has been beneficial. BSR MSP Roadmap till 2030 was adopted by VASAB CSDP/BSR & HELCOM Ministerial meeting. Also, HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan was adopted by the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting. Regarding HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group`s Mandate, it was prolonged by 2030. At the same time, HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG Work Plan 2022-2024 is in progress. In the context of VASAB Long-Term Perspective, MSP stakeholders are invited to participate in the workshop «Bridging the old with the new: the VASAB Long-Term Perspective 2040» on 26 November 2021 (online).

The next and the final project partner meeting will take place in Spring 2022, back-to-back with the project closing event.