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Marine spatial planning (MSP) is not only used individually by countries. Broader groups recognize the significance of this tool to protect marine environments and optimize the use of shared waters.

Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM)

HELCOM aims to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. Its commission follows specific spatial planning principles in the Baltic Sea which are set within the framework of the Baltic Sea Action Plan.

We are participants in HELCOM's joint task force for marine spatial planning. Read more about HELCOM on our website.

OSPAR Commission

OSPAR's goal is to protect the Northeast Atlantic's marine environment. The commission has a marine planning correspondence group which reports to its committee on the environmental impact of human activities.

We participate in OSPAR's correspondence groups for marine planning and economic and social analyses. Read more about OSPAR on our website.

Visions and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea (VASAB)

VASAB is a forum promoting the cooperation in marine spatial planning and development between the countries around the Baltic Sea. One committee helps participating countries with general planning and development matters. This committee also functions as a means for sharing experiences.

International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES)

ICES has extensive experience with integrated coastal zone management and in recent years has begun working with marine spatial planning. Its Strategic Initiative Group leads this effort and brings together a variety of expertise including biologists and economists.

ICES, HELCOM, VASAB, and OSPAR have collaborated in the past to share marine spatial planning experiences among stakeholders.

Nordic Council of Ministers

The Nordic Council of Ministers has an informal MSP network consisting of experts from Nordic countries. Our agency is involved, as is Sweden's Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment.

The Nordic Council of Ministers' environmental action program 2013–2016 guides environmental collaboration within the Council. Marine management and planning are highlighted in the program.

UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Marine spatial planning is increasingly gaining importance worldwide and MSProadmap defines a global vision and role for maritime/marine spatial planning.

Here you can find the latest country profiles on MSP worldwide. 

UNESCO's publication “Step-by-Step Approach for Marine Spatial Planning toward Ecosystem-based Management" guides those in marine management who lack experience in spatial planning.

Published: 2014-02-11
Updated: 2021-07-09