Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Open Standards for Conservation


This is an approach originally designed to improve conservation management which will be tested for MSP in transboundary cases.

Application in MSP:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • Can the Open Standards for Conservation (OS) approach address the integration challenges?
  • How can OS be adapted to meet the needs of MSP?
  • How can OS support an adaptive management view within MSP?
  • How can OS facilitate stakeholder participation?

Implementation Context

Owned by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), the Open Standards for Conservation (OS) approach was originally developed in the early 2000s to improve conservation management. Since then it has also been tested in marine and coastal planning and management.

OS offer a systematic approach to planning and implementing processes alongside practical project management tools, a participatory process thinking, and continuous mutual training of the user- and coach community.

Within the context of the BALTSPACE project, the capacity of the OS approach to address the four integration challenges (policy and sector integration, multi-scale and trans-boundary integration, stakeholder integration, integration of knowledge base) is tested along with its potential to be further developed for the needs of MSP.

Aspects / Objectives

The aim is to test the ability of the OS approach to address the four integration challenges, as well as its potential to be developed to address the specific needs of MSP. The process design also addresses the issue of stakeholder integration.


The process comprises 5 consecutive steps:

  1. Conceptualize
  2. Plan actions and monitoring
  3. Implement actions and monitoring
  4. Analyze, use, adapt
  5. Capture and share learning

It is a cyclical process consisting of facilitated workshops, where views, sectors and stakeholders interact. Participants are trained through the process and train each other in their respective area of knowledge. The process is fed by different competences, type of data, knowledge how to drive a planning process and intermittent synthesis of results.

The approach is tested in limited areas with a trans-boundary perspective and in coordination with ongoing MSP processes. The needs of the countries involved are taken into account in the design of the test cases.

Main Outputs / Results

The main expected outputs of the on-going process include a logical process framework and the joint definition of vision, goals, targets and objectives, which can be related to evaluation and monitoring. Also the facilitated interaction among stakeholders and managers and stakeholder contribution to process design are relevant results. The main related software MIRADI will be tested during the MSP cycle. It is working to transform the practice of conservation. Potential synergies are the discussion of MarZones scenarios and the decision on priorities. MarZone is another tool developed in BaltSpace, allowing zones with different and independent targets to be defined. It is thus suited for MSP with several interests meeting in the same area.


The approach is not limited to specific sectors or areas. Through stakeholder training an exchange of different competences and experiences is supported as well as the transferability to other contexts. The software MIRADI is providing step-by-step guidance how to apply conservation practice in the marine area. However it will be one result of BALTSPACE how far this practice can be transferred to an MSP process.


MIRADI-software. Retrieved 10 May 2016, from

Contact Person

Andrea Morf

Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment

andrea.morf [at] (andrea[dot]morf[at]havsmiljoinstitutet[dot]se)

+46 31 786 65 64

Responsible Entity

Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment

Costs / Funding Source

Costs: unknown

Funding Source: BONUS (EU 7th Programme for research, technological development and demonstration; Baltic Sea national funding institutions)