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Advancing Maritime Spatial Planning in Outermost Regions (MSP-OR)

Funding Programme:

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Funding Programme:

European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF)


Completion Year:


Contact Person(s):

Coordinator institution name:

FRCT – Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia

Email: (frciencia[at]azores[dot]gov[dot]pt)

Address: Rua do Mercado, nº21, 9500-326 Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Phone number: 296 308 946


Project contact: (info[at]msp-or[dot]eu)

Implementation Period:

Overall Budget: €1.906.307,52

EU Contribution: €1.499.999,89

About the Project:

The European outermost regions (ORs) of the Azores (Portugal), Madeira (Portugal), Canary Islands (Spain) and French Guiana (France) are making cooperative efforts to support the implementation of the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSP Directive 2014/89/EU) in their marine territories, to advance their Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) implementation processes. Despite the different states of development of each of their MSP processes, these ORs share common challenges.

The European Macaronesian regions, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, belong to the same biogeographic region, Macaronesia, and present several common characteristics and maritime resources. These regions had already started cooperative efforts, supported by the MarSP (Macaronesian Maritime Spatial Planning) project, to apply a common approach in implementing their MSP processes and framework.

The MSP-OR (Advancing Maritime Spatial Planning in Outermost Regions) project will enable French Guiana to move forward with knowledge, providing the foundations for launching the implementation of MSP principles and supporting the first stages of the implementation process in this OR[1]. The project will also support the preparation of the next planning phases in the other participating regions, while consolidating integrated ocean governance amongst neighbouring countries, on the basis of the MSP principles.

An innovative approach, based on Ocean Governance principles applied to MSP in ORs, will provide a common Ocean Governance Platform which will provide all partners with a virtual arena to compile and exchange information, participate and build capacity.

Important developments will be tailored by MSP-OR, according to the specific needs of each participating region, such as (i) filling knowledge gaps, (ii) interactive stakeholder involvement, (iii) sectoral planning approach and (iv) ecosystem approach applied at regional level. MSP-OR will also address monitoring and assessment of MSP efficacy and impacts in ORs, as a crucial step for an adaptive approach to planning and management, providing guidelines and recommendations for monitoring MSP in EU ORs. Project results will be compiled in an MSP-OR repository on the Ocean Governance Platform.

In summary, MSP-OR’s main objective is to support MSP competent authorities in Portugal (Azores and Madeira) and Spain (Canary Islands) on advancing the implementation of their MSP processes, launched with the previous MarSP project; and in France (French Guiana) advancing with knowledge, providing a basis to launch and adopt the MSP principles.

Project partners

  • Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT) – Azores, (PT);
  • Secretaria Regional do Mar e das Pescas (SRMP-DRAM) – Azores, (PT);
  • Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico (MTERD-DGCM) - (ES);
  • Centro de Estudios y Experimentacion de Obras Publicas (CEDEX) – (ES);
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IEO_CSIC) – (ES);
  • Fundación Biodiversidad (FBIO) – (ES);
  • Gobierno de Canarias (GOBCAN) – Canary Islands, (ES);
  • Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) – Canary Islands, (ES);
  • Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (Shom) – (FR);
  • Secretaria Regional de Mar e Pescas (SRMar-DRM) – Madeira, (PT);
  • Direção-Geral de Política do Mar (DGPM) – (PT);
  • Centre d'études et d'expertise sur les risques, l'environnement, la mobilité et l'aménagement (Cerema) – (FR).


[1]. The development of strategic basin documents in the French overseas and metropolitan regions are related to the national strategy for the sea and the seashore (SNML).  If the strategic basin documents in French metropolitan seas are  the French implementation of the EU Directives (MSPD and MSFD), the French overseas regions are not subject to either directive.