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Study on integrating an ecosystem-based approach (EBA) into maritime spatial planning

Funding Programme:

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)

Funding Programme:

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)


Completion Year:

Contact Person(s):

Tony Zamparutti of Milieu Consulting ( (tony[dot]zamparutti[at]milieu[dot]be)

Pierre Strosser of ACTeon ( (p[dot]strosser[at]acteonenvironment[dot]eu))

Anda Ruskule of the Baltic Environmental Forum ( (anda[dot]ruskule[at]bef[dot]lv))

GerJan Piet of Wageningen Research ( (gerjan[dot]piet[at]wur[dot]nl))

Implementation Period:

475,250 €

About the Project:

The objective of this study was to provide EU Member States with feasible and practical approaches and guidelines for applying the EBA in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), along with a practical method or tool for evaluating, monitoring and review the application of EBA in MSP. 

The study included five case studies, four in the European Union and one outside, with the following areas of focus:

  • Baltic Sea: a review of green infrastructure assessment and of the use of ecosystem services at local level
  • Black Sea: opportunities offered by existing EU marine and freshwater legislation to support EBA in MSP
  • Mediterranean: valuation of ecosystem services in the Northern Adriatic
  • The Netherlands/North Sea: the use of tools for the analysis of ecosystem-economic interactions for EBA
  • Massachusetts, United-States of America: revising a long-standing MSP and assessing the added value and challenges of implementing EBA in MSP

These case studies, together with a comprehensive literature review, provided key inputs for the preparation of a set of guidelines for the implementing an ecosystem-based approach in maritime spatial planning, as well as for evaluation, monitoring and review of EBA in MSP. The guidelines moreover describe key tools for the ecosystem-based approach and highlight the role of existing EU policy and legislation in supporting EBA in MSP.

The following project reports have been published by the European Commission:

  • An Infographics summary, which provides an introduction to the application of EBA in MSP along with links to the other project results
  • Guidelines presenting the practical, stepwise approach for incorporating EBA in MSP.
  • The project’s Case study reports, bound in a single volume: each report describes the key features, methods and lessons learnt from its case study.
  • An Analytical review describes key results from the review of literature on EBA and MSP.
  • The Final report summarises the project’s activities.

Project partners

  • Milieu Consulting
  • ACTeon Environment
  • Baltic Environment Forum (BEF)
  • Fresh Thoughts
  • GRID-Arendal
  • Wageningen University & Research