MarSP Project: Macaronesian Maritime Spatial Planning

Project Implementation Period: 
January 2018 - December 2019
Specific Funding Programme: 




About the Project: 

The aim of the MarSP project is to develop Maritime Spatial Planning schemes in the three Outermost Regions of Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands), in line with the EU Directive on MSP (2014/89/EU) and following an Ecosystem Based Approach.

Specific Objectives of the Project:

The specific objectives of MarSP are to develop concrete actions for the Member States Portugal and Spain, and to build the necessary capacity and tools for implementing the MSP Directive in the Macaronesian region, including mechanisms for cross-border cooperation. This project also aims to develop management tools that are relevant to the environmental and socio-economic settings of each archipelago of Macaronesia. Some of the EU regions for which MSP processes have been well develop are located on continental Europe, so do not share the same challenges that face Macaronesia, such as its remoteness and oceanic features. This project therefore seeks to find new approaches that will contribute to MSP in these regions. It will also help to reduce asymmetries in the implementation of MSP associated with the Outermost Regions. It is also intended to strengthen the position of Macaronesia in the world context, given that these regions are surrounded by a large maritime area with a recognized economic potential and an increasing demand from diverse Blue Growth sectors (such as tourism, biotechnology, scientific research), as well as potential activities that may be considered environmentally sensitive (deep sea mining, drilling, resources prospecting) and need special attention.

The project will reinforce maritime spatial planning in the Macaronesian archipelagos of Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands, by assisting the competent authorities of Portugal (Azores and Madeira) and Spain (Canary Islands) in promoting the development of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP).

The project will provide management tools that are adapted to the regional environmental and socio-economic settings of each archipelago of Macaronesia.

Project partners

  • Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia dos Açores (FRCT), Azores – Portugal.
  • Direção Regional para os Assuntos do Mar Do Governo Regional dos Açores (DRAM), Azores – Portugal.
  • Secretaria Regional do Ambiente- Direção Regional de Ordenamento do Território do Governo Regional da Madeira (SRA-DROTA) – Madeira – Portugal.
  • Direção Geral de Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimo (DGRM) – Portugal
  • Direção Geral do Política do Mar (DGPM) – Portugal
  • Instituto Español De Oceanografía (IEO) – Spain
  • Universidad de Sevilla / University of Seville (US) – Spain
  • Universidad de Cádiz / University of Cádiz (UCA) – Spain
  • Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria / University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) - Spain

Final report

The final conference of the project took place on 6 December 2019. From this, a report was published containing the main results of the event and achievements of the project:

MarSP Final Conference - Report

Final outputs

MarSP booklet

Proposing Pilot projects on relevant spaces or issues for cross-border

​Integrated and synthetic diagnosis of the marine spatial planning in the Macaronesia

​Regional reports on MSP objectives 

Public Participation Guidelines for MarSP Project