Regional cooperation

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There are two international conventions to protect the sensitive environments of the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean: HELCOM and OSPAR respectively. In particular in the Baltic Sea area, a dialogue on marine spatial planning is conducted. There is also a special forum for spatial planning, Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB), which is a collaboration between the ministers responsible for spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region.

The Baltic Sea


Marine spatial planning work is based on the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) within HELCOM and the Long - Term Perspective for the Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea Region within VASAB.

HELCOM and VASAB jointly adopted the principles of maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea in 2010. At the same time, a joint working group for marine spatial planning was formed, with the participation of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The group is named Joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group and has developed roadmaps for marine spatial planning and guidelines for how the ecosystem approach should be applied in marine spatial planning as well as for how cooperation between marine spatial planners should take place. There is a data expert group to support the work. The group has contributed to the publication of the Baltic Sea countries' marine spatial plans in the map tool Basemaps. SwAM is taking part in the group´s work.

North Atlantic Ocean


Within the marine spatial planning framework, SwAM supports the workgroup Intersessional Correspondence Group on Offshore Renewable Energy Development (ICG-ORED) in matters relating to the development of renewable offshore energy. The group was established in 2021 by the European network Ospar. It is led by the Netherlands, and has Sweden and Great Britain as co-conveners. In addition to supporting the group's progress, SwAM has had a particular focus on the development of a framework for assessing cumulative environmental effects. The work carried out within ICG-ORED is directly relevant to marine spatial planning work in Sweden.

Published: 2021-11-01