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Land-sea interactions and relationships with integrated coastal zone management


The report is a deliverable of the component "Develop and propose a conceptual methodology for transboundary MSP in the Northern Atlantic, with operational details on selected aspects" of the project SIMNORAT. It explains land-sea interaction (LSI) across marine and coastal governance arrangements at EU level and provides a gap analysis considering LSI in the MSP

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:


What are governance arrangements at EU level related to LSI?

Are there any dynamics of LSI?

How can LSI implemented in the MSP?

Implementation context

The report on LSI and relationships with ICZM is part of the SIMNORAT project and aims to integrate LSI aspects into spatial planning. It supports Member States when considering land-sea interactions during a planning process and aims to promote an integrated and strategic vision for MSP that is cohrerent with land use planning frameworks. This is in line with other European processes, namely the ICZM recommendation, the MSFD, and the WFD.  

aspects / objectives

A general framework for LSI within MSP with a set of key principles was taken as basis for an overall review of LSI across marine and coastal governance arrangements at EU level. In a second step, dynamics of LSI were analysed to show interactions of sectors with their spatial LSI and which impacts land/sea uses may have on the environment. A gap analysis was aiming to show whether Portugal, Spain and France already consider LSI aspects and how these countries approach the various dimentsions of land and sea taking into account existing frameworks coming from ICZM, MSFD and WFD.


A questionnaire was sent among the SIMNORAT project partners in order to analyse how LSI issues are addressed in each of the three countries. The answers result from in the sum of what was found in literature review within each country and their knowledge of the process. Therefore, they do not reflect the overall undergoing projects or processes led by the planning authorities. Questions were:

Question 1: Are land-sea interactions being considered in the MSP analysis or planning phases? If yes, how? 

Question 2: Is the LSI considered directly in the MSP approach or is it planned through an articulation with other planning tools or ICM approaches?  

Based on the answers coming from MSP authorities and project partners, a gap analysis related to LSI in the MSP was conducted.

main outputs / Results

Results show that none of the three countries has an exact, official definition for the concept of LSI. However, all countries do consider LSI in the MSP analysis or planning phase. Portugal and France directly consider LSI in the MSP approach and through the articulation between marine and terrestrial strategic, legal and management instruments. In Spain  it is stated in the MSP legislation that the MSP plans should be compatible and articulated with other planning exercises already in place. 

A specific land-sea interactions framework within the MSP implementation process and its operational implementation at the various phases of the process is a critical gap for all three countries to ensure an optimal integration of LSI in MSP approaches. 


The applied methodology may be transferable to other (EU) countries and real MSP processes. However, it is not known yet. This is related to different MSP processes of the EU Member States and different approaches how to integrate LSI into existing ICZM and how to align with other legal frameworks like the MSFD.  


UAVR, French Biodiversity Agency, CEREMA, IEO


SIMNORAT was co-funded by the EC – DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)


Lisa Pinto de Sousa

Unviersity of Aveiro, Portugal (lisa[at]ua[dot]pt)