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Authorities involved in marine spatial planning

Below are a number of the Swedish authorities that are involved, one way or another, in the country's marine spatial planning.

These authorities have a national sectoral planning responsibility, including in marine areas. They have a legal mandate to identify and claim areas of national interest in different fields.

Authorities with Mandate

The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket)


Boverket is the managing authority for matters concerning the built environment and its management; the use of land and nature resources; town and country planning; building construction; and the management of the housing and subsidies administration. Boverket is included among the national interest authorities because they are responsible for the oversight of national interests.

As the managing authority for spatial planning, Boverket is responsible for planning according to Sweden´s Planning and Building Act as coordinated with marine spatial planning. Boverket is responsible for guiding municipalities in their efforts with spatial planning that may coincide with marine spatial planning. Boverket also follows up on how other national and local authorities apply these plans.

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Swedish EPA is an environment agency that has overarching responsibilities the country´s environmental quality objectives. The EPA identifies areas of national interest regarding conservation and outdoor recreation on land. The agency is also responsible for the funding of environmental research, including marine research.

The EPA implements all consultation which the Espoo Convention brings about. The Agency sends out cases for comments from within Sweden which are then assembled and communicated to the competent authority abroad.

Swedish National Heritage Board

The Swedish National Heritage Board is the agency that is responsible for heritage and has the mandate to identify areas of national interests related to historic environment. The Board is consulted in matters of cultural environments and relics that are affected by wind power, wave power, and fishing, as well as cabling and wiring.

Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU)

The Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) is the expert authority on issues relating to soil, bedrock and groundwater in Sweden. One key task is to meet society's need for geological information.

SGU can assist marine spatial planning by providing knowledge and information about the composition and structure of the seabed and coast as well as levels of nutrients and pollutants within the water. SGU has the mandate to identify areas of national interests for mineral deposits and their extraction.

Swedish Energy Agency


The Swedish Energy Agency works for the use of renewable energy, improved technologies, a smarter end-use of energy, and mitigation of climate change. Its mission is a sustainable energy system, both short- and long-term. The Agency also identifies areas of national interest for energy production (including off-shore wind energy) and distribution.

The Swedish Transport Administration

The Swedish Transport Administration is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of all state-owned roads and railways. They also develop long-term plans for transport systems via road, railway, sea and air. The Administration is responsible for identifying claims to areas of national interests for shipping.

The Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

The Swedish Armed Forces holds a number of interests in marine areas based upon its mission of upholding Sweden´s territorial integrity in peacetime and defending the country against future threats.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, together with the Armed Forces, is responsible for identifying claims to areas of national interest for total defense in their respective areas. The Agency is also responsible for implementing the EU Floods Directive.

Other Relevant Central Authorities

Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment

The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment is a national centre with an assignment from the Swedish government to give a broad picture of the current environmental state of Sweden's marine waters. The Institute is formed of a collaboration among several Swedish universities which gives it access to a broad range of knowledge.

The Institute supports the Swedish government and authorities with current interdisciplinary knowledge about the environmental state of the marine areas, allowing for informed decisions on policies and administration.

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)

SMHI is an expert authority on with metrology, hydrology, and oceanography, and also serves as Sweden's climate agency. SMHI provides planning and decision-making support for weather- and water-dependent activities.

SMHI can provide a basis for plans involving bodies of water from the sea surface down to the bottom but not including the seabed which falls to SGU's responsibility.

Statistics Sweden (SCB)


SCB is responsible for Sweden's official statistics and provide s the government and various authorities with statistics for decision-making, debate and research. SCB can provide data for social analyses needed for marine planning.

Swedish Marine Administration (SMA)

SMA is a governmental agency and enterprise within the transport sector. The agency monitors the management of the country's infrastructure for sea traffic and has the operational responsibility for shipping lanes. SMA can provide a knowledge base for such things as shipping traffic in a given area or waterway records and planning.

Swedish Transport Agency

The Swedish Transport Agency has overall responsibility for drawing up regulations for rail, air, sea, and road transport. The Agency works with international maritime issues and has a coordinating responsibility for Sweden's participation in these matters. The Agency also has an influence in how shipping lanes are drawn.

The Swedish Transport Agency is the authority that applies to the International Maritime Organization for the establishment of traffic separations and routes along Sweden's coasts — factors that affect marine spatial planning.

Swedish Board of Agriculture

The Swedish Board of Agriculture is responsible for the agricultural and horticultural sectors with a mandate to work with agricultural and rural development. The Board is responsible for a number of areas within fisheries and aquaculture such as consumer questions and the promotion of recreational fishing and aquaculture. The authority is responsible for providing support through the EU operational programmes regarding the fishing industry.

Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR)

SALAR represents the governmental, professional and employer-related interests of Sweden's municipalities and county councils. The Association strives to promote, develop, and strengthen local self-government while providing support and service to its members. SALAR will play an important role in helping municipalities with their responsibilities of developing planning methods for territorial waters.

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