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MSP Tools and Guidance

This page contains tools and guidance documents for MSP Practitioners and other interested parties in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of MSP.

Communication and MSP

'Communicating MSP: an inspiring era of cooperation between institutions', November 2020

"Maritime Spatial Planning has a clear objective. The objective of ensuring that the largest number of stakeholders depending on the maritime space are allowed to perform their activities in a fair, sustainable, and collaborative way. It ensures the coexistence between human activities and the protection of ecosystem services, and in doing so contributes to the Blue Economy. Without communication, without a broad, open and silo-breaking style of communication, this cannot be achieved."

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MSP Tools study

The objective of this study is to provide guidance to administrators in monitoring, evaluating and revising their maritime spatial plans, in particular in the context of the implementation of the Directive 2014/89/EU on Maritime Spatial Planning (or MSP Directive). To this end, the project provides a “guide” and a “toolbox”. This project was divided into six main tasks. The guide and toolbox were designed based on literature review and expert interviews, tested in case studies and revised subsequentially

Guide to monitoring, evaluation and revision of Maritime Spatial Plans

Online guide to monitoring, evaluation and revision of Maritime Spatial Plans - MSP Toolkit

"The purpose of this guide is to assist Member States in reviewing and revising their MSPs over time. The guide assumes that an MSP is already in place and is designed specific to the European context. That is, considering legislation or directives of the European Union (EU), as well as international commitments made by the EU as a whole. The adaptation of the guide to specific national contexts is possible through tailored user input".

Tools and guidance
MSP Tools - Guidance document
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Toolbox for monitoring evaluation and revision of MSP
Toobox for monitoring evaluation and revision of MSP
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Systems and tools for monitoring, evaluation and revision of MSP
Systems and tools for monitoring, evaluation and revision of maritime spatial plans, including in the context of the implementation of Directive 2014/89/EU
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Tools and guidance
MSP Tools literature overview
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All MSP tools and guidance documents

Guidelines for the integration of the Socioeconomic impact of MSP
Guidelines for the integration of the Socioeconomic impact of MSP - October 2023
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The Marine Spatial Planning Index: a tool to guide and assess marine spatial planning (2023)

This paper provides a tool for assessing progress in MSP processes based on MSP principles that can guide practitioners in operationalizing these principles. Using qualitative analysis of fundamental MSP guides, complemented with a literature review, key features of MSP principles are identified and developed into a scoring guide that assesses progress relative to each principle. 

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Guiding the application of an ecosystem-based approach
Guiding the application of an ecosystem-based approach in maritime spatial planning (2021)
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Guidelines for implementing an Ecosystem-based Approach in MSP
Guidelines for implementing an Ecosystem-based Approach in Maritime Spatial Planning - September 2021
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The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance (2019)

This book takes stock of the challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem approach in ocean governance. It provides in depth analyses of lessons learned and remaining challenges associated with making the Ecosystem Approach fully relevant and operational.

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MSPGlobal international guide

MSPglobal: international guide on marine/maritime spatial planning (2021)

"The MSPglobal International Guide is the result of a joint initiative by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to support the development and implementation of MSP processes worldwide."

Maritime Spatial Planning, past, present, future (2020)

This book provides a comprehensive overview of maritime spatial planning worldwide and raises key questions from these international experiences. Gathering interdisciplinary research it explores MSP history, ongoing practices and future trends. 

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Guidelines on transboundary consultations, public participation and co-operation (2016)

These guideline elaborate within the framwork of the HELCOM VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group were prepared in order to assist MSP panners and authorities and are applicable for transboundary maritime areas without prejudice to the national systems of the spatial planning

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Guideline for the implementation of ecosystem-based approach in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea area (2016)

This document, elaborate within the framwork of HELCOM VASAB, provides a first step towards a common understanding on how the EBA can be applied in designing MSP. The aim is that this document will be tested in practice and, subsequently, amended as may be needed according to experiences gathered.

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