BaltSeaPlan, The Key to Governing the Fragile Baltic Sea
The BaltSeaplan Vision shows how MSP processes would impact upon the planning of the Baltic Sea by 2030 esp. in relation to shipping, fishery, offshore energy and environmental planning. It developed the principles, which should be applied by Baltic Sea states in any MSP process in the future; i.e. pan-Baltic thinking, spatial efficinecy, spatial connectivity. These principles and transnational topics identified have from then on be leading principles for MSP processes throughout the BSR. Cross-border aspect: Transnational Baltic Sea wide
Development / Implementation Context
From 2009 to 2012, BaltSeaPlan worked on marine spatial planning within the scope of the EU's Maritime Policy by developing national marine strategies for the Baltic Sea region, in the light of HELCOM's marine spatial planning recommendation. Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have been part of the project.
The BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 was developed by all BaltSeaPlan partners jointly. It shows how MSP could ideally be translated into practice by 2030 and outlines the necessary steps and principles such as pan-Baltic thinking and spatial connectivity, which should be followed by Baltic Sea Region States starting from today in order to reach this vision.
The vision guides through different stages of an MSP life cycle. It starts by setting out common goals, values and priorities and asking what the Baltic Sea region could or should be like in 2030. It then goes on to ask what spatial governance framework is necessary in order to achieve this.
Because it is a pan-Baltic vision, it is looking at the whole Baltic Sea as a planning space as well as the wider planning area. As such, it takes account of the existing environmental and socio-economic objectives that have already been agreed for the Baltic Sea region under the umbrella of the EU, VASAB or HELCOM. The vision identifies key topics for a sustainable development of the Baltic Sea, which require cross-border cooperation.
The Vision for MSP in the Baltic Sea 2030 is based on the national visions, taking into account trans-national interdependencies and cumulative impacts.
Impact on planning and decision-making
The BaltSeaplan Vision shows how MSP processes would impact upon the planning of the Baltic Sea by 2030 especially in relation to shipping, fishery, offshore energy and environmental planning. It developed the principles, which should be applied by Baltic Sea states in any MSP process in the future; i.e. pan-Baltic thinking, spatial efficiency, spatial connectivity. These principles and transnational topics identified have from then on be leading principles for MSP processes throughout the BSR. The vision has a cross-border aspect and stresses the need to include trans-boundary aspects into the MSP cycle.
The vision impacted positively the implementation of several MSP pilot plans during or after the BaltSeaPlan project:
- Estonia: Since 2010, two pilot MSP plans were implemented as a result of the BaltSeaPlan project and due to the growing interest for offshore energy.
- Latvia: The work on the legislation was largely based on the experience gained within BaltSeaPlan what made a pilot MSP for Latvian waters of the open Baltic Sea.
- Poland: Three non-binding pilot plans exist in Poland derived i.a. from BaltSeaPlan: Pomeranian Bight and Arkona Basin, Western part of the Gulf of Gdańsk (in fact Puck Bay), Middle Bank. They are used by the Polish Maritime Administration in its daily decision making as a source of best available knowledge.
The area covered under the BaltSeaPlan vision is the whole Baltic Sea region, including Russia.
The project BaltSeaPlan - with its several products like the Vision 2030 - accompanied the EU Maritime Policy by supporting the introduction of Integrated Maritime Spatial Planning and preparation of National Maritime Strategies within Baltic Sea Region. It also contributed to the implementation of the HELCOM recommendation on broad-scale Maritime Spatial Planning and the VASAB Gdańsk Declaration.
Objectives of the plan
The objectives of the vision are to achieve the sustainable use of the Baltic Sea space, endorsing the ten EU principles for MSP by the EU Commission in 2008:
- Use MSP according to area and type of activity
- Define objectives to guide MSP
- Develop MSP in a transparent manner
- Ensure stakeholder participation
- Ensure coordination with Member States and simplify decision processes
- Ensure the legal effect of national MSP
- Engage in cross-border cooperation and consultation
- Incorporate monitoring and evaluation in the planning process
- Achieve coherence between marine and terrestrial spatial planning and establish a relation with ICZM
- Have a strong data and knowledge base
Therefore, the vision implicates success factors for a pan-Baltic approach like data management and monitoring or appropriate structures and processes to channel engagement in MSP. To serve the objectives of the vision, in 2030 MSP is understood as a cooperative practice that involves several spatial and administrative levels. Also, the BSAP and key EU Environmental Directives have been successfully implemented.
The BaltSeaPlan Vision is focusing on shipping, fishery, offshore energy and environmental planning.
As the vision is based on the national visions, Baltic Sea region wide campaign to discuss the BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 was initiated.
During the development of the vision, cross-border consultation took part between Germany, Latvia and Lithuania and/or Poland and Sweden.
Kira Gee | kira.geehzg.de (kira[dot]gee[at]hzg[dot]de)
Andreas Kannen | andreas.kannenhzg.de (andreas[dot]kannen[at]hzg[dot]de)
Angela Schultz-Zehden | szsustainable-projects.eu (sz[at]sustainable-projects[dot]eu) | +49 30 832 1417-40