BONUS BASMATI Thematic Scoping / Vision Document: report outlining the main conflict and potential synergy areas in cross-border MSP.


Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) requires a spatially explicit framework for decision-making, and on that background the overall objective of BONUS BASMATI is to develop integrated and innovative solutions for MSP from the local to the Baltic Sea Region scale. This is to be realised through multilevel governance structures and interactive information technology aiming at developing an ecologically and socio-economically sound network of protected marine areas covering the Baltic Sea. Based on the results of former MSP projects, the BONUS BASMATI project sets out to analyse governance systems and their information needs regarding MSP in the Baltic Sea region in order to develop an operational, transnational model for MSP, while maintaining compliance with existing governance systems. It also develops methods and tools for assessments of different plan-proposals, while including spatially explicit pressures and effects on maritime ecosystem services in order to create the Baltic Explorer, which is a spatial decision support system (SDSS) for the Baltic Sea region to facilitate broad access to information. During the project running until 2020, new data will be produced and tested in assessments corresponding to policy goals. The data will support the combined analysis of the three elements of the concept of ecosystem services: the capacity, flow and benefit of provisioning, regulating and cultural services. A central aim of the project is to facilitate cross-border collaboration, and the project is carried out in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders in the BSR. The impact of the project will be facilitated and assessed in transnational case studies, where integrated solutions are required. The local scale will consist of case study areas in the South-West Baltic, the Latvian territorial and EEZ waters including open part of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, and across the region, a pan-Baltic case study will be performed.

Sea Basin(s): 
October 2018
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Nature protection
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Cross-border cooperation
Environment aspects
Sea-basin cooperation
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What are the main conflict and potential synergy areas in cross-border MSP?

Implementation Context: 

This report is documenting deliverable 2.2 of the BONUS BASMATI project. The present work has been carried out within the project ‘Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Ecosystem Services (BONUS BASMATI)’.

Aspects / Objectives: 

The objectives of the BONUS BASMATI WP2 is: 1) To establish the conceptual framework for the development of tools facilitating stakeholder participation in sustainable allocation of marine activities; 2) To test stakeholder involvement tools; 3) Draw lessons from these case study tests. This document reports on deliverable D.2.2 Thematic Scoping/Vision Document: report outlining the main conflict and potential synergy areas in cross-border MSP. 


This scoping report examines conceptualisations and analytical perspectives on work with conflicts and synergies in MSP in relation to the case studies of the BONUS BASMATI project. The report first provides introductory reflections on conflicts and synergies in marine spatial planning using both an analytical narrative complemented with examples from conflict theory. It then provides examples of conflicts and obstacles that have emerged in a Baltic Sea Region (BSR) context and how, through people, planning processes, projects and institutions synergies have been developed. The report finally zooms in on the three BONUS BASMATI case studies and highlights emerging and potential conflicts and synergies within the case study areas. It also suggests potential synergies and solutions for overcoming challenges that can be addressed in the case studies and during the lifetime of the project.

Main Outputs / Results: 

The report provided a detailed overview of conflict and synergy areas from within the Baltic Sea Region at the centre of the BONUS BASMATI project. A number of potential conflicts and synergies are identified in relation to competing marine uses, institutional and regulatory differences, and asymmetries in knowledge and data. In addition, tools developed in Baltic Sea-based research projects, like the ’interests matrix’ developed during the Baltic SCOPE project, have been highlighted as potentially useful in helping MSP stakeholders identify conflicts and synergies. This background analysis has formed the basis of a review of potential conflicts and synergies within the three case study areas of the BONUS BASMATI project. Each of the three case studies are unique and have a different geographical and sectoral focus; however, this scoping report has been a valuable first step in highlighting potential conflict and synergies in their respective areas and identifying which stakeholders are most closely involved.


The document aims to support the MSP processes in the Baltic Sea countries.

Responsible Entity: 

Aalborg University, Denmark. 

Costs / Funding Source: 

The project received financing from BONUS (art. 185), funded jointly by the EU, Innovation Fund Denmark, Swedish Research Council Formas, Academy of Finland, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science and Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany).

Contact person: 

Henning Sten Hansen, Aalborg University, Denmark.