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Christopher McDougall is the team´s Project Leader. Most recently he has been working as Principal Technical Advisor and Mid Term Reviewer for a GBP 23 million UK government programme to support small island developing states in developing their maritime economies. He has worked as Team Leader of a team of environmental experts undertaking an initial environmental baseline assessment for the development of St. Lucia’s airport. He has also worked for several years as Project Lead for the Facility for EuroMed dialogue and exchange of best practices for Integrated Maritime Policy / Blue Economy, where he oversaw technical inputs and assured deliverables. He has a long track record in environmental impact assessment, and Integrated Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.

Thanos Smanis is the team´s Expert Coordinator. He is an Environmental and Climate Change expert. He is an Ecosystems Management PhD candidate with experience of more than 14 years (since 2005) as Environmental and Climate Change Consultant / Technical Project Manager / Researcher.

He has been involved in the preparation, appraisal and supervision of multiple projects in applied conservation science, through working with research institutes and environmental organizations. He was involved as collaborative researcher / consultant in numerous EU, ACP, and ENPI projects during his collaboration with various donors / institutes / research centres such as the Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterrάneo (CEAM, Spain), the Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR, The Netherlands), The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB, California-USA), Kapodistrian University of Athens (KUoA, Greece) and other private companies.

He is specialized in ecosystem-based approaches and adaptation to climate change. The last 4 years through his involvement as environmental / blue economy expert in different EU BE policy projects, all related to Blue Growth – “Facility for Regional Policy Dialogue on Integrated Maritime Policy / Climate Change”, “Facility for blue growth in the Black Sea” and “Assistance mechanism for the WestMed Initiative” - he focuses his activities on BE and IMP aspects of different sea basins.

Patrycja Enet is the MSP focal point for the North Sea. She is a marine and coastal expert with 20 years of experience in ocean/coastal management and climate adaptation at the global and regional -EU- levels. She is a senior advisor in the United Nations System, working for the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) Adaptation Programme Oceans and for the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Management Group (UN-EMG) – her specific tasks include advancing evidence-based action in the thematic area of ocean-climate and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing enhancing resilience of oceans, sustainable ocean management as well as source to sea marine litter across sectors for a UN-system wide support to Member States. She has working knowledge of the legal and global frameworks for maritime zones with activities taking place in the oceans and seas; sustainable development, climate actions and disaster risk reduction. She specializes in governance of the seas and coastal areas by use of integrated approaches of MSP, ICZM, IWRM, EbA and MPAs, where she has been linking expert communities with different background including academic, engineering, decision makers, policy makers, NGOs, etc.

In Europe, she has been involved in managing marine and coastal areas through the initiatives of the European Commission that supported the development of the EU Maritime Policy, including strengthening the capacities through guidance, dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders, international partnerships and cooperation. In one of her assignments, she developed and carried out the European Commission’s Ourcoast initiative that created stable information mechanisms to support the implementation of marine and coastal planning and management in the EU. 

She has been working at northern European research institutes, marine engineering enterprises, and the non-governmental coastal and marine union, where she has been delivering technical advice and combining knowledge in policy and processes with on the ground practical experience at the national, regional and local level in various countries around the world. She spent the last few years at the Dutch national knowledge institute Deltares working with climate adaptation, risk management and integrated approaches for marine and coastal areas, with specific tasks focused on advising the Dutch Ministry on international developments in the field of ocean governance, and she has been involved in the international efforts for oceans by providing expert input to high-level forums, e.g. Science for Ocean Action for a High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy. With vast experience in international project settings and interest in sound practical implementation of integrated approaches, throughout her entire career she has been actively engaged in marine and coastal management and planning to improve coordination between land- and sea-based activities. The countries of her current professional affiliation are: the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Dr Kristina Veidemane is the MSP focal point for the Baltic Sea. She is a senior environmental expert / project manager in the Baltic Environmental Forum (BEF), having work experience of more than 20 years in the field. She holds a Ph.D. in geography with a research focus on development of coastal landscapes.

Dr Veidemane has good knowledge on EU marine and integrated maritime policy and their requirements for the Member States. She has been involved in several projects related to implementation of marine protection policies in the Baltic Sea region. Since 2009 she has taken active part in the transboundary projects related to maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region (BaltSeaPlan, PartiSeapate, MARMONI, Land-Sea-Act). In 2015-2016, she led an international team to develop the country-wide Maritime Spatial Plan of Latvian territorial and EEZ waters.

Currently, she leads the Assessment of the application of Baltic Sea Common Regional MSP Framework commissioned by the VASAB Secretariat. As the BEF is favouring stakeholder engagement in environmental policy planning and implementation processes, Dr Veidemane is one of the key organisers and moderators of meetings, workshops and conferences of different scales – from local to regional level.

Nikolay Valchev is the MSP focal point for the Black Sea. He has a PhD in Oceanography, MSc in Ecology and environmental protection and 17 years of professional experience at the Institute of Oceanology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the field of land-sea interactions (study and monitoring of coastal processes), coastal vulnerability and risk assessment, disaster risk reduction planning, developing the scientific bases for implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC, renewable energy resources (wave energy potential), operational oceanography and early warning systems. He has experience as team leader and participant in national and international research projects and a record of more than 70 scientific publications.

Dr. Stella Kyvelou is the MSP focal point for the Eastern Mediterranean. She is Professor and Head of the Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies at the Department of Economic and Regional Development of Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. She studied Architecture-Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and holds a DEA and PhD in Spatial, Regional & Urban Planning of the University Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne. She specialises in European environmental policy, local development and Maritime Spatial Planning, carrying out research and teaching of MSP at Panteion University.

Her research activities include European territorial development and cohesion and she was a Scientific Expert of the ESPON2006 National Contact Point (2000-2006) and Director of the ESPON2013 National Contact Point (2008-2015) providing, in parallel, consultancy to the Greek Ministry of Development. She has been involved as expert in several MSP projects, namely SUPREME, IMP facility for the Mediterranean, MUSES, IMP facility for the Black Sea etc. and as coordinator in ESPONTrain (LP), ESPON-INTERSTRAT, ESPON-USESPON, and ESPON-on-the-Road. Currently she is principal investigator of the HER-SEA research project “Developing an Observation Network for Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH/UCH) in Greece”. Her research interests are focusing on blue growth, maritime spatial planning, tourism and heritage, incorporation of MCH/UCH in MSP, land-sea interaction, sustainable urban development and sustainable construction, inclusive growth, geography and geopolitics.

She is an author of several books and articles, columnist in electronic media and key-note speaker in meetings and conferences (e.g. European Maritime Day, ESPON seminars, IMP Facility for the Mediterranean, ECHOPOLIS 2018, Council of Europe Workshops, INTERREG Greece-Cyprus workshop about diving tourism, Multi-Use MED Webinar, Multi-Frame Project Webinar, EUSAIR workshops on green and blue corridors and MSP etc.). She has served as Deputy Head the Department of Economic and Regional development of Panteion University (2018-2020) and was Special Adviser to the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy on issues related to insular policies, MSP and protection of the marine environment (2018-2019).

Stella is president of the Greek-French and International non-profit entity SDMED Observation, Planning & Eco-Innovation. She has a great number of publications in scientific journals, international conferences and scientific books, among them a collective Handbook entitled “Maritime Spatial issues: maritime dimension of territorial cohesion, MSP, sustainable blue growth” (ed.KRITIKI, 2016). She teaches at International Master and PhD programmes ( MSTourHer International Master on tourism and heritage, International PhD Programme on ‘Territory, Innovation and Sustainability’ etc.). In 2011, she was awarded by the French government «Chevalier à l’ordre de Palmes Académiques». She belongs also to the focal point on SDGs of Panteion University, focusing on SDG14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

Yves Henocque is a Maritime Policy and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management Specialist with over 30 years of research and consultancy experience in coastal and marine environment. After a dedicated vocational training in the United States in 1994, he started practicing integrated coastal and ocean management and strategic planning in France (Atlantic, Mediterranean, and French overseas islands) and the Mediterranean, where he has been working mostly with countries of the Western Mediterranean basin and the Mediterranean Action Plan (PAP/RAC, Blue Plan) for regional, national, and local implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol in relation to the other Barcelona Convention agreements and instruments like the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) and Maritime Spatial Planning in the Mediterranean. He has also been involved into various EU-funded ICZM-related projects in the Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean Commission), the South Pacific (South Pacific Commission), South-East and East Asia (Thailand, Japan).   

Frédérick Herpers is the MSP focal point for the Atlantic. He has 13 years of experience in geophysics sciences (hydrography, oceanography, geography) for civilian and military purposes (at French hydrographic office (SHOM) but also at French procurement agency for the Defence ministry. He has more than 7 years of experience in design and implementation of integrated maritime and coastal policies (EU, national, regional and local level) as IMP advisor for the French Prime Minister at Secretariat general de la Mer (2008-2011). He contributed to the elaboration and adoption of the French maritime policy in 2009, the law transposition of MSFD as the environmental pillar of the national strategy for the sea and the shoreline. He was project manager in French maritime consultation (2009): Grenelle de la mer where he was mainly in charge of inter-ministerial coordination for the Prime minister.

As a consultant since 2014 at Stratégies Mer et Littoral (SML), he has been working in maritime and coastal strategy at regional or sub regional level (Britanny, Loire Atlantique). He was in charge of SML involvement in WestMed Initiative (2016 – 2017) to develop a maritime strategy in the Western Mediterranean Sea basin (DG Mare). Since January 2019, he is head of the French National hub for Western Mediterranean Assistance Mechanism (2018 - 2020).

Further, he was team coordinator of the Blue Economy assessment in ENI South countries (national and regional analysis) (2017-2018); he is team coordinator and sea basin expert for the Black Sea Facility for the Blue Growth in the Black Sea; and since 2014 he has been contracted to provide legal advice for ANEL (Association Nationale des Elus du Littoral) to help French collectives (including Overseas) in developing their local maritime and coastal strategies, but also to define the national position in MSP implementation.