Ecosystem-based approach

Reflecting and outlooking on the Learning Strand on Ecosystem Based Approach in MSP

The first stage of the journey started by Learning Strand (LS) on Ecosystem Based Approach in Maritime Spatial Planning (EBA in MSP) half a year ago within eMSP NBSR project is coming to its end and an overview of good EBA practices in MSP, which was a main goal of the first stage, is almost compiled.

An overview of good EBA practices in MSP embraces 5 major topics: accounting for nature, ocean governance, social and economic considerations, comprehensiveness and coherence, adaptive management. Good practices have been compiled from both the North and Baltic Sea areas, thanks to the contribution by Denmark, Finland and Aland, France, Germany, the Netherland and Sweden. The overview also includes a description of existing international framework for EBA in MSP and some recent assessments of EBA application e.g. European Commission and WWF.

The overview in combination with the analysis of relevant recent political commitment (e.g. European Green Deal, Climate change) will lay basis for gap analysis of the existing international framework for EBA in MSP aimed to identify shortcomings in this framework and fill them in with concrete recommendations to improve respective documents. The recommendations are supposed to cater also for harmonization of EBA in Baltic and North Seas.

By mid-2023 the LS on EBA is planning a number of workshops to discuss key findings with the Community of Practice and illustrate them with respective study cases which are part of the LSs activities. The study cases are intended to demonstrate how ecosystem-based MSP can contribute to nature conservation, progress towards good environmental status of the sea and sustainable blue economy. These workshops will also serve as a platform for cooperation with other projects, particularly, with MSP4BIO (HORIZON EUROPE).


To get involved in the Community of Practice to learn more about EBA in MSP and to contribute to the development of knowledge base for the next MSP cycle – contact the Learning Strand leaders – Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky (mitry.frank-kamenetsky[at] & Jan Schmidtbauer Crona (jan.schmidtbauer.crona[at]


Prepared by Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky (HELCOM) & Margarita VoloŇ°ina (VASAB Secretariat) November, 2022