Taking a sustainable and ecosystem-based approach (EBA) to planning and managing the use of the world’s ocean has long resided at the core of WWF’s mission. This approach is critical for both ensuring biodiversity protection and securing the ecosystem services that people rely upon. Therefore, supporting the development of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) based on an EBA in the European Union (EU) has been a clear choice for WWF organizations globally, and especially in Europe.
WWF has taken the initiative to assess nine maritime spatial plans from around the Baltic Sea, developed by eight different EU countries and one autonomous region, to measure and compare the degree to which they comply with the principles of ecosystem-based management. This assessment report provides a snapshot (from end of March to end of November 2021) of the current situation of MSP in the Baltic Sea region concerning how well it aligns with an ecosystem-based approach, with special emphasis on the performance of ecosystem-based planning aspects.