Policy Background

Ecosystem-based approach based in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is one of the main pillars of maritime spatial planning, formulated in the EU MSP Directive. It was also included in the Regional MSP principles developed by Baltic Sea countries, pursuing the overall target to keep collective environmental pressure of various human activities within the limits of ecosystem bearing capacity and thus, contributing to the joint effort to achieve good environmental status of the Baltic Sea.

The European Green Deal set commitments and actions targeting climate change resilience, biodiversity conservation and restoration, clean energy, sustainable blue economy and other sectors largely serve as a guidance for the development of framework for ecosystem-based approach in MSP. Maritime Spatial Planning, applying ecosystem-based approach, is considered as a tool effectively contributes to the implementation of these actions.

Aims & Tasks

The main goal of the Learning strand (LS) is to enhance the ecosystem-based approach in MSP through the investigation of best practices, further development of international legal and policy framework and distribution of relevant knowledge for the North and Baltic Sea regions.

It is planned to include a study case within the LS to complement theoretical investigation contributing with practical experiences on approaches and tools to strengthen ecosystem-based MSP. The case study constitutes of two sister cases in the Baltic Sea and North Sea with three thematic sub-cases: MSP for good environmental status; MSP for Sustainable Blue Economy; MSP and spatial protection.

Expected Results

Among the anticipated LS’s outcomes the most crucial are:

  • a review of the application of ecosystem-based approach in national MSPs with gap analysis;
  • policy briefs targeting urgent needs for enhancement of EBA in MSP;
  • recommendations to fill gaps and advance international legal and policy framework for application of EBA in maritime spatial planning;
  • a platform for continuous science and policy dialog and mutual knowledge exchange in the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions
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eMSP NBSR
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