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MSP Global

Funding Programme:

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

Funding Programme:

European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF)


Completion Year:


Contact Person(s):

Julian Barbière

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Implementation Period:

€ 1,400,000.00

About the Project:

Although adoption of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is increasing worldwide (in August 2018, about 70 countries were preparing or had prepared MSP plans at the regional, national or local scale), many regions, countries or municipalities still need support to adopt it or to fully implement it where the process has already started.

In this context, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) adopted in March 2017 a Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide. As a result of this fruitful partnership, the International MSPforum and the MSPglobal Initiative were established one year later.

The results of this framework will be a joint contribution of the IOC-UNESCO and European Commission to the joint voluntary commitment #OceanAction15346 presented by both institutions during the United Nations Ocean Conference in June 2017. The MSPglobal project also contributed to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) adopted by the 72nd UN General Assembly on 5 December 2017.

MSPglobal covered the following priority actions of the MSProadmap: 1) Transboundary MSP; 2) Sustainable Blue Economy; 3) Ecosystem-based MSP; and 4) Capacity building. On the other hand, the MSPforum was implemented to achieve priority action 5 on ‘Building mutual understanding and communicating MSP’.

MSPglobal Initiative

MSPglobal was a three-year initiative launched in November 2018 by IOC-UNESCO and DG MARE to contribute to improving cross-border and transboundary cooperation where it already exists and promoting MSP processes in areas where it is yet to be put in place. The project’s long-term objective is to triple the marine area benefiting from MSP effectively implemented by 2030 and cover 30% of maritime areas under national jurisdictions.

More specifically, MSPglobal:

Through the active and effective participation of policy-makers, scientists, citizens and other stakeholders in its activities, MSPglobal aimed to improve governance at multiple levels in support of the blue economy.

Project deliverables

WP1: Joint EC/IOC Guidance on Cross-Border MSP

WP2: Pilot project in the West Mediterranean sea-basin

WP3: Pilot project in the Southeast Pacific region

  • D3.1 – Technical report on current conditions and compatibility of maritime uses of the coastal and marine environment of the Gulf of Guayaquil: English, Spanish
  • D3.2 – Technical report on future conditions and scenarios for MSP and sustainable blue growth opportunities in the Gulf of Guayaquil: English, Spanish.
  • D3.3 – MSP Knowledge Platform and country factsheets:
  • D3.5 – Roadmap for transboundary MSP and sustainable blue growth in the Southeast Pacific: English, French, SpanishArabic.

WP5: Management

  • D5.3 – Report on lessons learnt: under preparation.

Project partners

  • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO);
  • Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE);
  • Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) ;
  • WestMED blue economy Initiative;
  • Comision Permanente del Pacífico Sur (CPPS);
  • Government of Sweden;
  • Government of the Netherlands.

Associated organisations

Western Mediterranean pilot project:

  • Ministry of Fisheries and Fisheries Productions / Ministère de la Pêche et des Productions halieutiques – Algeria;
  • Ministry of the Sea, Directorate for Maritime Affairs / Ministère de la Mer, Direction des affaires maritimes – France;
  • National Research Council-Institute of Marine Science / Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR) – Italy;
  • Planning Authority – Malta;
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fishing, Rural Development and Water and Forests / Ministère de l’Agriculture, de la Pêche maritime, du Développement rural et des Eaux et forêts – Morocco;
  • General Authority For Marine Wealth State of Libya – Libya;
  • Spanish Institute of Oceanography / Instituto Español de Oceanografía – Spain;
  • National Institute of Marine Science and Technology / Institut national des sciences et technologies de la mer (INSTM) – Tunisia.

Southeast Pacific pilot project:

  • General Maritime Directorate / Dirección General Marítima (DIMAR) – Colombia;
  • Directorate-General of Maritime Interests / Dirección General de Intereses Marítimos (DIGEIM) – Ecuador;
  • Ministry of Environment, Directorate for the Coasts and Seas / Ministerio de Ambiente, Dirección de Costas y Mares (DICOMAR) – Panama;
  • Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation / Dirección de Hidrografía y Navegación (DIHIDRONAV) – Peru.