Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is defined as a process through which informed decisions are made about the spatial and temporal distribution of maritime uses, in order to achieve social, economic and ecological objectives which are usually specified through a political and public process. The need for MSP as an integrated approach has become increasingly important to address multiple challenges. Specifically, MSP provides an alternative to single sector management, and can reduce conflict and enhance synergies across sectors, especially in crowded near shore areas. MSP is often implemented to fulfil policy requirements, such as the EU MSP Directive, and is part of global efforts to ensure a coherent approach to managing shared waters.
Planning the use of sea space to address challenges and achieve policy objectives is a process that needs careful management and consideration. s.Pro is among the foremost consultancies in conducting MSP, with a full team of MSP specialists in-house as well as wide ranging network of associated experts around the world. This allows us to offer the full range of services related to MSP:
- coordination of a full MSP cycle;
- capacity building and training on MSP;
- development of handbooks, guidelines or policy briefs;
- studies and research to improve and guide current and future MSP efforts; and
- facilitation of stakeholder consultation processes or support to transnational cooperation and consultation efforts.
Ever since its establishment in 2001, s.Pro has been involved in the development of the concept of MSP. To date, s.Pro has lead an unprecedented number of projects in Europe and increasingly world-wide, such as ‘BaltCoast’, ‘PlanCoast’, ‘BaltSeaPlan’, ‘PartiSEApate’, ‘BaltSpace’, ‘BalticLInes’, ‘NorthSEE’, ‘BalticRIM’, ‘MARISMA’, and ‘Blue Planning’. We have also authored some of the key guiding MSP documents such as the ‘PlanCoast MSP Handbook’, ‘BaltSeaPlan Findings’, ‘Baltic MSP Governance’, ‘Multi-Level Stakeholder Handbook’, ‘MSP Data Study’, ‘MSP for Blue Growth’, ‘MSP Vision Handbook’ and most recently the ‘LME:Learn MSP Toolkit’, 'Maritime Spatial Planning: past, present, future', 'Spatial Economic Benefit Analysis: Facing integration challenges in maritime spatial planning'.
Since 2016, s.Pro manages the EU MSP Assistance Mechanism, known as the European MSP Platform, which is financed by the European Commission to provide support to Member States in implementing the MSP Directive. The service covers the continuous management of the inter-active website (msp-platform.eu), active support by focal points in all EU sea-basins, preparation of targeted technical studies and policy briefs, and facilitation of MSP related workshop and conferences.
Samples of projects: