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.



Stakeholder participation

There are many human dimensions in relation to the marine area - cultural, economic, social, and institutional - all of which should be considered in marine spatial planning. Some commercial and recreational users of marine areas are likely to face restrictions following the implementation of a marine spatial plan and this should be taken into consideration11, 56. Marine management will only work with the understanding and consent of the people that will ultimately implement the plan. Often authorities cannot fully control and monitor marine activities, emphasizing the need for public awareness and understanding of the underlying reasons for regulations.


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