Governance prospects for Maritime Spatial Planning in the tropical Atlantic compared to EU case studies

Marine Policy 123


The Atlantic Ocean assumes the status of a major ecosystem and has geopolitical importance in the context of EU and is even more strengthened by the long-term political cooperation with the Tropical Atlantic countries regarding maritime affairs. This contribution is an updated output of an international PADDLE project expert assessment, held in Brazil in February 2019, following two years of research. It intends to summarize the main conclusions on the state of the art and MSP prospects in the Tropical Atlantic, also referring to the ongoing MSP process in several EU countries. Political, legal and institutional frameworks enhancing MSP were presented and future trends for tropical MSP governance discussed.

Sea Basin(s): 
November 2020
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What is the legal framework for MSP in Tropical Atlantic countries (Brazil, Senegal, and Cape Verde)?
  • What are the MSP governments' dynamics in Tropical Atlantic countries?
  • Which factors facilitated MSP implementation in EU Atlantic countries?
  • What are the differences between MSP approaches in Tropical Atlantic and those in EU Atlantic countries?

Implementation Context:

This article was drafted as part of the PADDLE Project which aims at creating a network and a collaborative platform, to build theory and methods for pertinent MSP in tropical areas.

Aspects / Objectives:

Based on the EU countries experience of MSP, this study aims at identifying how MSP for maritime governance is approached by Tropical Atlantic Countries.


The study focused on Brazil, Senegal and Cape Verde as well as Portugal, France and the Netherlands/North Sea. It included data collection and analysis (using NVivo software), institutional (mapping government structure and mandates) and legal (mapping legal framework for diverse marine policies) analysis. Interviews were also held with the main institutions and agencies.

Main Outputs / Results:

The study provides a SWOT analysis of MSP implementation for each country included in the methodology. It gives an overview of MSP trends and challenges in the Tropical Atlantic and European Atlantic.  


This practice focuses on Tropical and European Atlantic countries. The results of the study are not transferable to other countries. 

Responsible Entity:

PADDLE Project

Funding Source:

This article is a contribution to the PADDLE project, which has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme 1.3.3. under grant agreement No. 734271.

Contact person:

J. Guerreiro: