Become a Maritime Spatialist in 10 minutes


This easy-to-read / non-scientific brochure developed by the WWF uses an engaging, funny "comic" format to depicts the objectives and possible benefits of an MSP process.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Resilience to climate change
Safety aspects
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Development / Implementation Context

The publication is one result of the project BaltSeaPlan, which was part-financed by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. The programme promotes regional development through trans-national cooperation.

MSP is a complex topic, which is difficult to explain to non-specialists. This easy-to-read, non-scientific brochure developed by the Baltic Sea office of the WWF Germany uses an engaging, funny "comic" format to depict the objectives and possible benefits of an MSP process with a pan-Baltic view.

Legal basis

The publication was a supplementary activity to the development of the BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 and the planning of several pilot cases.  It has no legal impact.

Impact on planning and decision-making

There was no direct impact to official planning processes. However, it is difficult to assess how far the brochure has guided various planners and other stakeholders.

Area covered

The guidance serves for planning processes in territorial and adjacent waters, EEZ, including continental shelves throughout the BSR.

Historic development

The publication was a supplementary activity to the development of the BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 and the planning of several pilot cases. 

Objectives of the plan/publication

The main objective of the brochure is to explain the MSP process to non-specialists. Getting stakeholders involved in the maritime spatial planning process is one of the key success factors. It was therefore seen as very important to get the issues at stake across to all of them, including local fishermen, hotel owners, nature protection groups.  The publication therefore explains the different steps of a MSP process, from conflicting interests and competing uses to a thorough analysis of spatial aspects and a final establishment of a plan. It shows how solutions have to be found through a process of involving authorities, stakeholders and interest groups to establish a formal set of regulations for all uses.  Other objectives have been to explain guiding principles like the ecosystem approach, the participatory approach as well as the zoning approach.

Designated Uses

The brochure was developed to cover all possible (conflicting) uses in the Baltic Sea Region. It shows maps to illustrate the process of developing MSP and takes into account uses like shipping, fishing, nature conservation and wind energy to explain the process and maps.

Public Participation

The guidance was developed with particular focus on multi-axial stakeholder consultations and participation in order to facilitate the acceptance and approval of official MSP.

Trans-boundary Consultation

Several trans-boundary consultations have been realized during the BaltSeaPlan project. Some of these meetings have been used back-by-back to find out more about needs and ideas of stakeholders, which have been included into the brochure.

Contact Person/Organisation

WWF Baltic Sea Project Office,

Jochen Lamp,

+49 3831 297018