Marine spatial planning in the Nordic region

Principles, Perspectives and Opportunities - Outcomes from the Nordic Forum on MPAs in Marine Spatial Planning

image of Marine spatial planning in the Nordic region

Increasing demands on resources in the marine area are compromising the future viability of the marine environment and in recent years the need to pursue new approaches for a sustainable use of our seas has become clear. Marine spatial planning is widely considered a promising tool for the management and protection of the marine environment, offering an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to managing the multiple and potentially conflicting uses of the sea. The Nordic Forum on MPAs in Marine Spatial Planning” was established in 2006 with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers to synthesize and disseminate knowledge from Nordic MSP activities. The Nordic Forum also co-hosted the Nordic Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning, which brought together more than 100 researchers, managers, and NGO and industry representatives. This report presents experiences and views gained regarding key concepts of marine spatial planning in the Nordic region and beyond, the application of mapping and tools, and prospects and conflicts in relation to important maritime sectors, nature conservation and other interests.



Conclusions and Recommendations

The multiple maritime activities impacting the marine environment and its long-term delivery of ecosystem services cannot be effectively managed through a single-sector or single-discipline approach. The Nordic Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning expressed firm consensus on the role of comprehensive cross-sectoral marine spatial planning as a central approach to implement ecosystem-based management of the Nordic marine environment and competing human activities. Marine spatial planning offers an effective step towards both environmental protection and sustainable development considering issues of social equity and economic prosperity, and thus can assist fulfilling related national and international targets and commitments.


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