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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

eMSP NBSR: Emerging ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Planning topics in North and Baltic Seas Region

eMSP North Sea Dune sand beach
Source: Adobe Stock - copyright: Olga

Planning the use of maritime space is very complex, involving a high number of interrelated interests, also among different sectors. The eMSP NBSR project brings together 15 neighbouring countries from the Baltic and North Sea Regions and fosters cooperation across the two sea basins for the efficient development of Maritime Spatial Plans. The project aims to avoid potential conflicts and to create a stable and secure environment for the development of a sustainable blue economy and the benefit of coastal communities.

Dr Kira Gee from the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency stated: “Visualise the invisible, that’s a great challenge since the complexity of MSP and related issues make it really hard to get a clear picture of the overarching problems, the impact and solutions.”

Community of practice for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic and North Sea

Started in September 2021, and co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, eMSP NBSR stimulates exchanges beyond national borders through a community of practice where project partners and MSP experts share experiences, challenges, knowledge and elaborate best practices and recommendations on 7 specific topics:       

  • Ocean Governance
  • Ecosystem-based approach
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Data sharing
  • Climate Change
  • Communities of practice 

For each of the topics a policy brief was produced to gather inputs from different stakeholders and providing recommendations for future development of Maritime Spatial Plans. Some key recommendations highlight the importance of enhancing cooperation on a sea basin scale and integrating ecosystem-based approaches in decision making.

The results page of the project website lists the materials developed by the five different learning strands and including links to the policy briefs and a video on the project results.

Putting together Maritime Spatial Planning projects

eMSP NBSR works closely with other MSP-related EU projects like MSP-OR, MSP Green, Regina MSP and ReMAP to share information and increase its overall impact. The project’s recommendations constitute an important basis for future policy and decision making both at national and EU level.

The project also produced 2 case studies: one on blue corridors or connections between natural areas at sea, and one on multi-use, exploring the Maripark concept developed in the eMSP NBSR Project Learning Strand dedicated to Sustainable Blue Economy.

Check-out the project website to know more about eMSP NBSR project and to stay updated with their news and events; follow them on X and LinkedIn.




The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) (Finland)