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Stakeholder Involvement in Long-term Maritime Spatial Planning: Latvian Case


Latvia has had a long-lasting experience on stakeholder engagement. The practice builds on the recommendations from the first Latvian MSP process by conducting a detailed cross-sectoral assessment of multi stakeholder involvement for long-term MSP, with a comprehensive focus on shipping and energy within the Baltic LINes project. The project uses scenario analysis to develop a spatial solution for energy and shipping sectors based on stakeholder consultations and current paths of development, taking into consideration other sectors of marine uses as well as transnational cooperation.

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

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How to analyse and map stakeholders?
  • How to develop future scenarios in an MSP process?

Implementation Context:

The case was developed within the Baltic LINes project and as a follow up on recommendations from the first Latvian MSP process. The outcome of the study includes a spatial solution regarding the shipping and energy sectors, to be included in the upcoming Latvian National MSP and also to help facilitate the development of future Maritime Spatial Plans. It involved the Latvian MSP partner consultants and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM).

Aspects / Objectives:

Identify, map and involve stakeholders at national, sectoral and transnational level and to develop future scenarios for long-term Maritime Spatial Planning


The study involved a combination of the Delphi method and several other methods for stakeholder identification and consultation, to the preparation of the plan and objectives relevant to the shipping and energy sectors.  Stakeholder involvement process first involved identification, analysis, mapping and prioritization of stakeholders for further development of scenarios.

Stakeholders were identified and divided into 4 categories;

  1. Legally Legitimate stakeholders (mostly national authorities)
  2. Economically legitimate (economic power and influence)
  3. Politically legitimate stakeholders (political power and influence)
  4. Scientifically legitimate (researchers, research institutions, consultancy)

Stakeholders were further grouped based on sector representation consisting of 20 persons per group for the two sectors. They were then analysed and evaluated based on the following five criteria;

  1. Power
  2. link to a transnational perspective
  3. willingness to participate
  4. claim for territory
  5. interest in transnational issues

Initial findings were presented to stakeholders in visual and pictorial presentations to enhance stakeholder understanding of MSP and relevant sector developments.

A combination of all the stakeholder identification and analysis processes was then used to map stakeholders with their expertise (Y-axis) against their willingness to corporate (X-axis). Stakeholders were then prioritized based on their level of engagement (shown with different size circles, developed based on a combination of sector claim for sea space and interest in transnational issues). The Delphi method adopted consisted of two rounds, with each consisting of three main steps with included 1) Questionnaire 2) Evaluation and then 3) consensus finding. The first round involved the generation of between 20-30 sectorial driving forces which was narrowed down to 10. This was the used to facilitate the further developments of the scenarios.

The questionnaires focused on shipping and energy (only available in Latvian). The questions derived from the main work streams of the project:

a) In close cooperation with the national stakeholders of both sectors, develop evidence-based future scenarios for the energy and shipping sectors in the area of MSP and

b) Identify the key issues and problems of the shipping and energy sectors in Latvia in the field of MSP at the pan-Baltic level.

Answers allowed development of future scenarios, and highlighting of important trends and issues for both sectors in the context of MSP. This process is detailed in 8 steps:

  1. Creation of Questionnaire: involved research on the Baltic lines, current regulations
  2. Survey of sector representatives as well as an indication of main factors that currently influences the sector. The top 10 most important factors were considered.
  3. Placing the 10 key factors on two scenario axes
  4. Combination of these axes to come up with four scenarios created for shipping and energy sectors
  5. Consolation of both sector scenarios and creating cross-sectoral scenarios, their discussions and adjustment.
  6. Agreeing on desirable future scenario and actions to implement them
  7. Panel discussion of critical issues
  8. Consensus and development of scenarios

Example of stakeholder mapping setup

The future scenarios method was also used in the development of the spatial solution for energy and shipping sectors based on stakeholder consultation, the present issues as well as analysis of studies, documents and statistical data.

Main Outputs / Results

  • Stakeholder database for further engagement at both national and BSR level
  • Recommendations for involvement of sector representatives at each level of the defined process, as well as the development of future scenarios both at national and BSR level
  • Detailed practical steps and guide for the development of future cross-sector scenarios for MSP
  • Developed a spatial solution for energy and shipping sector to be included in the national MSP


 The study and its approach can be transferred and applied in other contexts and regions in stakeholder consultation and the development of scenarios between different sectors for present and future MSP.

Responsible Entity

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM)

Costs / Funding Source

Baltic LINes is a project financed by the Baltic Sea Region Programme


Contact personS:

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia

Ms Kristīne Kedo

Head of Spatial planning policy division

Department of Spatial Planning

Peldu iela 25

Riga, LV-1494

Phone: +371 67026558

e-mail: (kristine[dot]kedo[at]varam[dot]gov[dot]lv)


Ms Margarita Vološina

Baltic LINes project expert

Department of Spatial Planning

Peldu iela 25

Riga, LV-1494

Phone: +371 67026712

e-mail: (margarita[dot]volosina[at]varam[dot]gov[dot]lv)