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.



Key messages

Marine spatial planning is a useful and cost-effective tool that can assist development of integrated marine management. While currently most planning of a given marine area is directed toward individual sectors, marine spatial planning (MSP) aims at balancing the multiple human activities by integrating policies and objectives across different sectors and addressing multiple and potentially conflicting uses of the sea, whilst also considering environmental protection. Marine spatial planning aligns with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and is useful tool to develop comprehensive ecosystem-based marine management. Initiatives towards systems of marine spatial planning are already under way in several European countries and marine spatial planning is central in several recent regional and EU resolutions and recommendations.


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