New report and policy brief synthesize experience in maritime spatial planning

Under the Interreg BSR programme project platform’s ‘Strengthening the capacity of MSP stakeholders and decision makers’ (Capacity4MSP) activity ‘Capitalisation of current maritime spatial planning (MSP) activities and projects’ a report has been developed synthesizing the experience from MSP projects in the Baltic Sea Region and the resultant policy messages.

This report has been prepared by the consortium of the Capacity4MSP project. The overall aim of this report is to synthesize and multiply the knowledge gained from various MSP projects and MSP practices within and beyond the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) in order to supplement the EU’s, pan-Baltic and national commitments towards well-functioning MSP in the BSR by 2021.

The objective of the report is to increase the visibility and impact of the concluded and ongoing transnational MSP projects and to demonstrate synergies between their achievements, and by that facilitate successful alignment of new sea uses (for example, renewable energy production, aquaculture, protection of underwater heritage). The report enhances the synergies in MSP with regard to the application of horizontal issues — for example, the concept of multi-use, land-sea interaction, cumulative impacts — from the perspective of new sea uses.

The report brings additional input to the future MSP agenda after 2020 (e.g. the update on HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan,  preparation of the new MSP Roadmap 2021-2027, preparations for the update of VASAB Long-term perspective), as well as identifies potential themes for MSP cooperation projects for the next EU financial perspective 2021 – 27. Since application, evaluation and monitoring the performance of maritime spatial plans will be a key challenge after 2020/21, the report tries to contribute in this regard by defining criteria and indicators for MSP process, content and performance.

The report is composed of two parts:

  1. The first part screens and analyses the good practices in the themes important for the future of the BSR MSP.
  2. This second part aims at addressing policy makers. It adopts the form of a roadmap/policy brief for MSP and emphasizes the topics which require public support at the current stage of the MSP development in the BSR (finalization and adoption of marine plans). The policy roadmap/brief focuses on issues which need to be improved and where gaps with regard to shared common understanding exist.