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Marine Spatial Planning

What is marine spatial planning?

On land, we have a long tradition of applying spatial planning to decide which areas to use for housing, roads and recreation, and which areas should be protected for nature conservation. The same planning is needed for the sea.

For years we have been trying to solve the Baltic Sea problem one by one, sector by sector, department by department and country by country. There is a wide array of users of the Baltic Sea. The report Future Trends in the Baltic Sea showed already in 2010 for the first time, a projection of trends and plans of all the sectors using the Sea over the next 20 years. The WWF report concludes that the only way to avoid the chaos of uncontrolled growth in demand for space and resources is to apply a more integrated approach to sea use management.

Maritime Spatial Planning is the tool that can help sort out complex challenges by allocating space and resources in the most appropriate way to minimize conflicts and find synergies between different uses of the sea.

WWF’s vision is that marine activity in Baltic waters are guided by ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Plans (MSP) that are well integrated with other marine policies by 2021, to bring together all relevant sectors for sustainable management of the marine environment.

Through our network, we work to assist governments and organisations in MSP application, implementing ecosystem-based integrated ocean management, using the most appropriate and practical spatial conservation tools.

Through better coordination and planning, where space and resources are distributed rationally, conflicts can be reduced, and synergies can be identified. It provides better conditions for both protection of nature and sustainable development with greater security for investments. The most important thing is that our overall use of the ocean’s resources is always based on a holistic view and based on what can be done so that it does not exceed the capacity of the ecosystem.

Download this report to learn about what kind of actions have been needed to address the threats facing the Baltic Sea. It provides an interactive map which aims to illustrate probable scenarios for the future based on the best available knowledge.

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Last modified 04/02/21

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