Offshore wind farm / CC0 Nicholas Doherty
Study |

Best practice in maritime spatial planning

A study commissioned by the Greens/EFA

With this study, we set out to demystify the process behind planning, developing and conservation for our seas and oceans.

In the coming years, we will be increasingly familiar with the process of Maritime Spatial Planning as we look to simultaneously harness the energy of the winds and the seas and protect our marine environment from overexploitation, whilst continuing
to provide healthy food and sustainable livelihoods to coastal communities and beyond. Some countries are already miles ahead in this process, with well-established Spatial Plans for their waters. Others have yet to publish their own. As a bloc, the European Union will lead the charge, with 21 Member States required to produce National Maritime Spatial Plans by March 2021.

Established good practice in Maritime Spatial Planning around the world can provide these Member States with models to learn from and adapt, in order to better plan the management of our marine, foster community involvement in the process, and facilitate constructive dialogue between stakeholders. In Europe, this process will ultimately help us to achieve the ambitious aims of the European Green Deal to live sustainably within the planetary boundaries, for example by protecting 30% of our land and seas over the next ten year as outlined in the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy .

In this study, Dr. Walsh succeeds in making this complex and technical process accessible to all readers and effectively communicating the transferable lessons we can learn from best practice in Maritime Spatial Planning.

Grace O’Sullivan
Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South





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