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Related Databases & Platforms

In addition to the variety of informational resources presented on the MSP Platform website, there are several additional curated collections of databases and platforms which provide useful references for MSP in Europe. 

Black Sea Virtual Knowledge Centre


The BSVKC is supported by the European Commission (DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and managed by the Permanent International Secretariat of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC PERMIS). It aims to support the dissemination of information on the Blue Economy sector in the Black Sea, as well as ensuring synergies and raising awareness about opportunities in the region. 



Blue-Cloud is a European H2020 project with the overarching aim of federating and piloting innovative services for Marine Research & the Blue Economy. The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) aims to provide a virtual environment with open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and scientific disciplines. Blue-Cloud is working towards the establishment of a marine-thematic EOSC serving the Blue Economy, Marine Environment and Marine Knowledge agendas.


CoastObs aims at using satellite remote sensing to monitor coastal water environments and to develop a user-relevant platform that can offer validated products to users including monitoring of seagrass and macroalgae, phytoplankton size classes, primary production, and harmful algae as well as higher level products such as indicators and integration with predictive models.


COASTAL Collaborative Land-Sea Integration Platform

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme COASTAL is a research and innovation project, a unique multi-actor collaboration of coastal and rural business entrepreneurs, administrations, stakeholders, and natural and social science experts to formulate and evaluate business solutions and policy recommendations aimed at improving the coastal-rural synergy to foster rural and coastal development while preserving the environment.

It provides a platform for best practices & policy guidelines, road maps for land-sea synergy and models for evidence-based policy analysis. 


Copernicus is the European Union's Earth observation programme, looking at our planet and its environment to benefit all European citizens. It offers information services that draw from satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data. The European Commission manages the Programme. It is implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan.

Vast amounts of global data from satellites and ground-based, airborne, and seaborne measurement systems provide information to help service providers, public authorities, and other international organisations improve European citizens' quality of life and beyond. The information services provided are free and openly accessible to users.

Copernicus Marine Service

Copernicus Marine Service

The Copernicus Marine Service (or Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service) is the marine component of the Copernicus Programme of the European Union. It provides free, regular and systematic authoritative information on the state of the Blue (physical), White (sea ice) and Green (biogeochemical) ocean, on a global and regional scale. It is funded by the European Commission (EC) and implemented by Mercator Ocean International. It is designed to serve EU policies and International legal Commitments related to Ocean Governance, to cater for the needs of society at large for global ocean knowledge and to boost the Blue Economy across all maritime sectors by providing free-of-charge state-of-the-art ocean data and information.

It provides key inputs that support major EU and international policies and initiatives and can contribute to: combating pollution, marine protection, maritime safety and routing, sustainable use of ocean resources, developing marine energy resources, blue growth, climate monitoring, weather forecasting, and more.

EMODnet Human Activities



EMODnet Human Activities aims to facilitate access to existing marine data on activities carried out in EU waters, by building a single entry point for geographic information on 14 different themes. The portal makes available information such as geographical position, spatial extent of a series of activities related to the sea, their temporal variation, time when data was provided, and attributes to indicate the intensity of each activity.

New mapping tools were added in 2019 to allow greater flexibility when interrogating data, which includes: Possibility to draw a rectangle over the visible map layers and download the data selected as tabular data only (particularly useful for non-GIS users); A printing and annotating of maps function; Transparency settings for map layers; Place name search.

EuroGOOS, the European Global Ocean Observing System


EuroGOOS identifies priorities, enhances cooperation and promotes the benefits of operational oceanography to ensure sustained observations are made in Europe’s seas underpinning a suite of fit-for-purpose products and services for marine and maritime end-users.


EuroSea works to improve the European ocean observing and forecasting system in a global context, delivering ocean observations and forecasts to advance scientific knowledge about ocean climate, marine ecosystems and their vulnerability to human impacts and to demonstrate the importance of the ocean to an economically viable and healthy society. EuroSea brings together key European actors of ocean observing and forecasting with users of oceanographic products and services. The EuroSea innovation demonstrators are focused on operational services, ocean health, and climate.

EU Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum

The Maritime Forum aims to improve communication amongst EU maritime policy stakeholders. It allows parties interested in the EU maritime policy to communicate on a common platform. They can publish events, documents and follow developments in their areas of interest.

Global MSP Inventory

The Global MSP Inventory was developed by UNEP-WCMC to suppor the European Commision Study on international best practices in cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning. The Global MSP Inventory was designed to provide an up-to-date characterisation of MSP Processes outside of Europe, and enable a simple analysis of characteristics of MSP processes. The Global MSP Inventory uses information from the UN Environment's MSP in Practice Initiative and its associated database of MSP processes. The inventory file contains:

  • Methodology - a description of the approach taken to develop the inventory, as detailed in the study report;
  • Inventory - the spreadsheet of MSP processes and information fields
  • Description of inventory fields - the description and source of information contained within the inventory
  • Dropdown - the list of pre-selected responses used within the inventory

This is an external database that will not be updated by the EU MSP Platform.

ICES Working Group on Maritime Spatial Planning


The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is an intergovernmental marine science organization, meeting societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. Alongside expertise and scientific publications, it provides a set of marine data, tools and portals.

The ICES Working Group Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM) also discusses current developments around Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Coastal Zone Management (CZM) in the ICES area. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​An inter- and transdisciplinary group, WGMPCZM involves people from social and natural sciences and from administrations in ICES Member countries. Based on current developments in marine planning practice and research, WGMPCZM focuses on knowledge gaps in MSP, risk analysis, quality assurance of a) advice for MSP and b) of mechanisms and processes in coastal and marine planning, social-cultural dimensions of marine ecosystem services and the use of fisheries data in plan decision making processes.


JERICO-RI is an integrated pan-European multidisciplinary and multiplatform research infrastructure dedicated to a holistic appraisal of coastal marine system changes. It is seamlessly bridging existing continental, atmospheric and open ocean RIs, thus filling a key gap in the ESFRI landscape. JERICO-RI establishes the framework upon which coastal marine systems are observed, analysed, understood and forecasted. JERICO-RI enables open-access to state-of-the-art and innovative facilities, resources, FAIR data and fit-for-purpose services, fostering international science collaboration.

JERICO-RI contributes to a better understanding of the functioning of coastal marine systems and thus to a better assessment of their changes caused by the combined effects of natural and anthropogenic changes. By doing so it contributes to an efficient management of major ecosystem services and environmental risks, leading to an improved knowledge framework for sustainable development in coastal areas and the emergence of a dynamic coastal blue economy.

Mediterranean Blue Economy Stakeholder Platform (MedBESP)

The Mediterranean Blue Economy Stakeholder Platform (MedBESP) – previously known as Virtual Knowledge Centre – is a regional networking platform for sharing knowledge and supporting the development of the blue economy. It can be defined as a “one-stop shop/online web portal allowing for the consolidation and sharing of general, technical and sectoral information related to marine and maritime affairs in the Mediterranean”
The MedBESP is a web-based portal aimed at providing a systemic and coherent framework to improve maritime governance in the Mediterranean by promoting and achieving:
• a more strategic, integrated and coordinated approach to policies and actions impacting on the sea;
• inter-systems co-operation and synergies across sectors and borders at regional, sub regional and national level;
• a common and coherent framework, bearing in mind regional specificities of the Mediterranean, to enhance exchange and dissemination of knowledge, networking and capacity-building.
The MedBESP aims at establishing a large Blue Economy Community in the Mediterranean basin, where users play a key role to improve, disseminate and widen the impact of blue economy activities. Among others, the MedBESP is a platform to facilitate contacts between existing education networks, exchange information including pedagogic tools and serve as an interface for mobility programs.

MSP Global

Maritime Spacial Planning Global

In 2017, the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) adopted a  “Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime / Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide”. As a result of this fruitful partnership, the International MSP Forum and the MSPglobal Initiative were established one year later.

The results of this framework will be a joint contribution of the European Commission and IOC-UNESCO to the joint voluntary commitment #OceanAction15346 presented by both institutions during the United Nations Ocean Conference. The project will also be a major contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) adopted by the 72th UN General Assembly on 5 December 2017.

MSPglobal covers the following priority actions of the MSP Roadmap: 1) International Guidelines on Transboundary MSP; 2) Sustainable Blue Economy; 3) Ecosystem-based Management MSP, considering cumulative impacts; and 4) Capacity Building. On the other hand, the MSP Forum was implemented to achieve the priority action 5 on Mutual Understanding.

MSP Research Network

MSP Research Network

The Marine Spatial Planning Research Network is an informal grouping of scientists, policy-makers and practitioners who wish to contribute to the development of marine spatial planning through academic-based research. The network is interested in evaluating the varying approaches that are being applied in different contexts, and exploring new ideas and techniques for taking MSP forward.


OBIS (@OBISNetwork) / Twitter

OBIS is the Ocean Biodivsersity Information System adopted in June 2009 by the Member States of IOC-UNESCO as part of its International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange programme. OBIS aims to provide a worldwide platform on ocean biodiversity and biogeographic data to better understand and assess ongoing pressures and support decision-making processes. 



The OURCOAST ICZM Database seeks to bring to light experiences, knowledge and tools that have been developed for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The database provides short summaries describing cases where the principles and tools of ICZM have been applied. This facilitates the sharing of experiences from around Europe, and further encourages the adoption of good practices in coastal management and supports the decision-making process towards a more integrated and sustainable approach.  There is significant overlap in the principles and practices of ICZM and MSP; therefore, many of the cases included in the OURCOAST database are pertinent to MSP. Although new cases are not currently being added to OURCOAST, the descriptions of previous practical experiences are still relevant.


OpenChannels is a knowledge hub for the global community of practice on ocean planning, ecosystem-based management, and marine protected areas. The Forum for Ocean Planning and Management presents the latest news, literature, online events, grant opportunities, jobs, and more.

PANORAMA - Solutions for a healthy planet

PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet is a partnership initiative to document and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics, enabling cross-sectoral learning and inspiration.

All marine and coastal solution examples are curated by the Blue Solutions project, a global, multi-organisational initiative, which collates, shares and generates knowledge and capacity for sustainable management and equitable governance of our blue planet. Since 2013, Blue Solutions has pioneered the development of an approach to capture success stories, promote them and facilitate their adaptation to and implementation in new contexts to stop re-inventing the wheel over and over again.

On the online platform Marine and Coastal Solutions Themtatic Portal, descriptions of these success stories (“solutions”) from throughout the world are available, including those presented at workshops and events, which were conducted in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Several solutions that are relevant to MSP are currently available, and additional descriptions will be continuously added.

Explore the solutions now and contribute your own experiences!

SeaDataNet – SeaDataCloud

SeaDataNet is a distributed Marine Data Infrastructure for the management of large and diverse sets of data deriving from in situ of the seas and oceans. SeaDataNet connects together more than 100 data centres aiming at preserving and making re-useable marine observations ranging from ocean physics to chemistry and biology. SeaDataNet infrastructure was implemented during the SeaDataNet project (2006-2011). The second phase, SeaDataNet 2 project (2011-2015) has upgraded the SeaDataNet infrastructure into an operationally robust and state-of-the-art Pan-European infrastructure for providing up-to-date and high quality access to ocean and marine metadata, data and data products by: setting, adopting and promoting common data management standards, realising technical and semantic interoperability with other relevant data management systems and initiatives on behalf of science, environmental management, policy making, and economy. SeaDataCloud aims at considerably advancing SeaDataNet Services and increasing their usage, adopting cloud and High Performance Computing technology for better performance.

UNESCO-IOC Marine Spatial Planning Programme

Marine Spacial Planning

The Marine Spatial Planning Programme helps countries implement ecosystem-based management by finding space for biodiversity, conservation and sustainable economic development in marine areas. Marine Spatial Planning makes this possible by:

  • Developing a step-by-step approach for implementing marine spatial planning;
  • Documenting marine spatial planning initiatives around the world;
  • Identifying good practices of marine spatial planning;
  • Collecting references and literature on marine spatial planning;
  • Enhancing understanding about marine spatial planning through publications;
  • And building capacity through training marine spatial planning professionals.

WestMED Initiative

WestMED Initiative

The WestMED Initiative has been initiated by the Union for the Mediterranean with the support of the European Commission to help achieve a safer and more secure maritime space, create a smarter and more resilient Blue Economy and improve the maritime governance for the western Mediterranean.


WISE Marine

WISE Marine is a partnership between the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) and provides information and data on the state of Europe’s seas. The collection of information is related to the implementation and reporting for, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, Directive 2008/56/EC), as well as other European legislation and initiatives that are relevant to the marine environment.