Two offshore production platforms for oil and gas development
Marine spatial planning is a process that brings together all users of our oceans to make coordinated decisions about how to sustainably use marine resources.

Sharing of good practices on marine planning and management is key to preserving our oceans

While overfishing and marine pollution are putting the world’s oceans at risk, new business opportunities are emerging in maritime industries. New report assists EU countries on sustainable use of our oceans by identifying good practices in the marine planning process.

17. Jul 2017

If you are a marine spatial planner, working across different jurisdictions, struggling with people not attending your stakeholder meetings, unsure about what should be the focus of your data collection efforts, or having trouble creating agreement on a specific planning issue, help is now close by.

A new NIRAS-led report with case studies and good practices within marine spatial planning has been published by the European Commission. Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a process that brings together all users of our oceans – including the energy and marine industry, government, and conservation and recreation organisations – to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to sustainably use marine resources.

Read the entire report Study on international best practices for cross-border maritime spatial planning

"The report is like a menu with different tools tried by others before you, explaining how these initiatives have worked well in the planning of marine activities. Depending on your own context, you will be able to pick out the best solution to solve your challenge or issue," says NIRAS Project Manager and Environmental Consultant Sara Méndez.

Working across borders to preserve the European oceans

The overall aim of the project was to identify good practices in marine spatial planning, focusing on cross border cooperation, to help member states in the EU work in a more coherent, sustainable, and effective way in the management of our oceans. One of our recommendations in the report is to improve communication and sharing of good practice.

"At the moment, international organisations around the world work in separate clusters. They all recognise the importance of cooperating across boundaries, but it is not so easy. This report is a call-out to the international arena to work more closely together and come up with better ways to share practices more effectively across borders," says Sara Méndez.

Bringing data into play

The findings in the report were presented in March 2017 at the DG MARE / IOC-UNESCO 2nd International Conference on Marine Spatial Planning in Paris, which NIRAS helped to organize.

"What NIRAS brings to the maritime spatial arena is our many years of experience within the marine industry. We know what offshore wind developers need, we know what problems may arise in the development of aquaculture, and we know what is required for ports and harbours to grow. We bring that whole industry perspective on-board," says Sara Méndez.