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Newsletter #4

Documentation of the BaltSeaPlan Final Conference

Berlin, Germany, 12 January 2012

Session moderated by Ms. Breuch-Moritz

Welcome Speech

Breuch-Moritz, Monika is President of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH or Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie).
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Monika Breuch-Moritz welcomed the participants to the conference "Advancing Maritime Spatial Planning: Results from the BaltSeaPlan project and beyond”.

In her speech, she stressed that the number of conference participants (180 registrations from 18 countries) shows that Maritime Spatial Planning and maritime policy is generally high on the international agenda at the moment. This has to do with the increasing number of pressures and resulting conflicts of uses on the sea and the need to develop instruments like Maritime Spatial Planning to deal with these conflicts.
She presented BSH and explained its role in licensing offshore activities in the North Sea and Baltic Sea as well as its responsibility for Maritime Spatial Planning in the German EEZ. Based on this practical experience she pointed to the interest of BSH in transnational cooperation and common standards for MSP and thanked the EU for the opportunity of transnational projects like BaltSeaPlan.

Maritime Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development of the Sea - Examples from Germany

Ferlemann, Enak is the Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.
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Key points of Mr. Ferlemann's speech:

BaltSeaPlan has not only an exciting own story, but forms also part of many policy aspects of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development of Germany; i.e. the European Spatial Development Policy, the German Maritime Spatial Planning Policy, the national and European-driven integrated maritime policy as well as the cooperation among the Baltic Sea States.

The project can be proud of its results, in which partners from 7 different countries of the Baltic Sea Region worked together on cross-border questions, leading to the following products:
  • A stocktake of the uses and conflicts
  • Analyses of national and international strategies with relevance to the maritime space
  • Draft Maritime Spatial Plans for 7 pilot areas in the Baltic Sea, two of them with cross-border character
  • The Spatial Vision 2030 “Towards the sustainable planning of Baltic Sea Space”

The results of BaltSeaPlan show that all the Baltic Sea Countries have a common responsibility in the development of the Baltic Sea. The more valuable it is, that the results provide guidelines for how to achieve such sustainable development of the Baltic Sea and include a proposal for an administrative cooperation between the states. BaltSeaPlan has been a key project within the development of an integrated maritime policy combining holistic thinking with concrete cross-border activities.

Mr. Ferlemann underlined the importance that these proposals should now be applied in reality around the Baltic Sea: To his mind this should happen in the context of the existing cooperation between spatial-development and environment ministries of the Baltic Sea Region (VASAB and HELCOM), who have already agreed to a set of principles for Maritime Spatial Planning. The need to further develop Maritime Spatial Planning is therefore also rightly stressed within the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. And also in the German-Polish governmental agreements of June 2011 BaltSeaPlan is an important element for further actions of the German-Polish cooperation.

Whereas Mr Ferlemann stressed the potential of BaltSeaPlan in serving as a role-model also for other European Sea basins and agrees with the Commission’s view that a common approach should be taken for MSP, he stressed that he does not see the need for additional legislative activities of the Commission in this area.

Maritime Spatial Planning in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Ulbrich, Ina-Maria is the State Secretary at the Ministry for Energy, Infrastructure and State-Development in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
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Key points of Ms. Ulbrich's speech:

MSP is living practise in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since 2005, when the Regional Spatial Development Programme defined binding regulations for selected uses in the coastal sea such as designating suitable areas for Wind Energy.
The inclusion of the sea into Spatial Planning resulted from the impossibility of resolving conflicts
by means of a sectoral regulation. MSP enabled early resolution of these conflicts also by involving relevant stakeholders.

MSP is a transboundary issue and must be dealt with as such. But this is not easy to bring into practise in view of language problems, differences in organisational structures, different cultures and also economic development competition. BaltSeaPlan was the perfect platform to test the reality of a transnational thinking.

From this test it is possible to conclude that a common approach (a common planning language) for MSP is needed at the BSR and EU levels. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) therefore supports the EU’s intention of creating a common approach for MSP for the partner states. The Land is not only committed to this in the context of projects but also in bodies like VASAB, HELCOM and the Conference of Peripheral Costal Regions.

The EU Commission should shape the procedural framework for MSP in close cooperation with the member states and MV is willing to contribute to this process. Its first contribution was developed in the context of the
BaltSeaPlan Project by providing recommendations for the regulation of MSP in Europe especially regarding the need for a comprehensive form of public participation which covers more than environmental impacts.

Initiatives by the European Commission to promote MSP

Siemers, Haitze is currently Head Unit for Maritime Policy in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and landlocked countries in DG MARE, European Commission in Brussels.
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Key points of Mr. Siemers' presentation:

With the launch of the Blue Book in 2005 the EU has set the maritime agenda for the EU. This agenda was based on the shift from a sectoral to an integrative approach and was developed on the basis of a broad consultation.
But in the meantime the world economic situation has changed. This represents a challenge to the maritime economy but also an opportunity.

The Maritime Economy has a place in the overall growth of the economic strategy for Europe 2020. The Maritime Economy, as a whole, has higher growth rates then the average of the economies of most member states and it has probably the potential to continue to grow further.

The EU Commission is analysing which areas of this economy have the most potential for growth, how this potential can be better explored and how this growth can promote new employment. The Commission is also investigating instruments that can be made available both at the EU level as well as in cooperation with the member states & regions to strengthen this development, i.e. by increasing transparency between sectors and educational curricula.

MSP is a tool in order to achieve the EU objectives through organised activities in the sea:
enabling growth at the sea in terms of employment, renewable energies and development of maritime transport, while at the same time achieving a good environmental status under the marine strategy framework directive through the application of the ecosystem approach.

The study prepared on behalf of the EU Commission on the economic effects of MSP shows that  MSP lowers coordination, administrative and transaction costs and enhances the investment climate.

The EU supports the so-called sea basin based approach to MSP and has launched an impact assessment that should result in a proposal of action by the EU before Summer 2012. A legislative option is among those discussed in this assessment. Whatever the outcome of the study, it is most important to stress that the action to be taken should contribute to the achievement of the three objectives defined: 1) to apply MSP to all European Sea Basins; 2) to achieve a common understanding on what MSP means in a sea basin context and 3) to achieve cross-border cooperation.

Next events:
26th March 2012 - Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning in Brussels
21st May 2012 – Maritime Day in Gothenburg (Sweden)

Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea - current initiavives

Mäkinen, Anita co-chairs the HELCOM-VASAB Working Group on Maritime Spatial Planning.
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Key points of Ms. Mäkinen's speech:

Characterisations of the Baltic Sea in terms of physical conditions and use pressures => showing the need for MSP in the Baltic Sea.

The HELCOM-VASAB Working Group was created in October 2010 with the aim of founding a firm basis for transboundary cooperation on MSP as well as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Baltic Sea region leading to development of a future coherent overall spatial planning for the Baltic Sea.
The group adopted 10 broad-scale principles for MSP at the end of 2010.

In future the HELCOM-VASAB WG will focus on:
o Legal requirements for MSP
o Develop practical applications of the ecosystem approach
o ICZM linkage to MSP
o Transboundary cooperation and testing of the adopted MSP principles in projects such as BaltSeaPlan
and Plan Bothnia

BaltSeaPlan and its Vision 2030

Nolte, Nico is head of the section Maritime Spatial Planning at the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), which is the Lead Partner of the BaltSeaPlan project.
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Key points of Mr. Nolte's speech:

BaltSeaPlan aimed at developing, introducing and implementing Maritime Spatial Planning throughout the BSR in a coherent manner.
For this purpose: 14 partners of 7 Baltic countries worked together in the last 3 years. The partnership concentrated its efforts on giving practical advice in this area.
BaltSeaPlan activities comprised stocktaking, data exchange, working with modelling and other tools relevant for Maritime Spatial Planning 8 pilot projects, 2 of them with transnational character and a Vision for the Baltic Sea in 2030.
Pan-Baltic thinking
Coherent pan-Baltic energy policy 2030
Data Management & Monitoring
The BaltSeaPlan Vision complements the already existing visions and policies for the Baltic Sea. It tries to anticipate future developments and changes and shows the transnational elements inherent in many topics and processes. It suggests a spatial framework that is needed in order to achieve this vision.

The BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 anticipates that MSP will be established practice by 2030 and shows how MSP is ideally translated into practice between 2011 and 2030.

This vision takes an integrated perspective of sea uses and the Baltic Sea ecosystem, shows the interdependence between environment, economy and socio-cultural aspects and explores their spatial aspects.

The Vision is needed because:
  • It is extending our planning horizon and thus increases our sphere of influence instead of waiting for things to happen
  • With the Baltic Sea being a small, but highly sensitive regional sea, forward planning requires Baltic Sea states to work together in order to achieve strategic goals and comprehensive solutions

The key principles of the Vision are:
  • Pan-Baltic thinking
  • Spatial Efficiency
  • Connectivity thinking

The Vision defines 4 transnational topics that should be dealt with jointly by all BSR states as their development has an effect on all of them and are driven by international targets:
  • A healthy marine environment
  • A coherent pan-Baltic energy policy
  • Safe, clean & efficient maritime transport
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
The BaltSeaPlan Vision 2030 sets out a vision for each of these topics and points to the implications on Maritime Spatial Planning.

The key elements for the implementation of the vision are:
  • data management and monitoring
  • spatial management and monitoring
  • and the establishment of appropriate structures and processes.

Advancing MSP - IS the Baltic Sea on the right track?

In the panel discussion the above representatives of Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and the EU
discussed the past and future developments on MSP in the Baltic Sea Region and EU.

Country developments, responsibilities and expectations on MSP:

In 2009 – at the beginning of the BaltSeaPlan project - MSP was unknown in Latvia => there was no reference to the subject in any legal paper.

Since then MSP has been included in the new spatial planning law, opening the door to start the production of a real MSP. The long-term sustainability strategy Latvia 2030 says that MSP should be done in connection with ICZM and terrestrial planning. MSP was also included in the Action Plan of the Spatial Development Strategy for Coastal Zones.

A draft concept on responsibilities of doing MSP was delivered to the Latvian Government a in December 2011. It
is hoped that the government will approve this document soon in order to enable the start of the MSP
process. The responsibility of planning the territorial waters and EEZ is at the national Level. There are, however, still discussions ongoing on how the municipalities should contribute to the planning at the national level.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management with responsibilities on water management, marine environment, fisheries and maritime spatial planning was established in July 2011.
It’s creation had been based on a proposal, which had received a very positive response in a public consultation process started in spring 2011. The government is now preparing a new legislation that should be ready by March 2012 and will probably be enforced by early July 2012.
The new authority at the nation level will have to cooperate with the administrative branches of the government at the regional levels and municipalities. Municipalities have still the right to plan for their area out of the territorial sea (12 NM of the base line). Therefore there will be an overlap with the different plans. So far this problem is not evident as until now the municipalities are not using their possibility to plan, but this will change soon!
It is hoped that in three years time the 1st drafts for the three MSP areas in Sweden will have been prepared and that the international cooperation is strengthened.

Finland and Sweden are currently taking part in the project Plan Bothnia that aims to test the MSP principles. Also a comprehensive programme collecting data on underwater nature values in coastal and off-shore areas
will be ready by 2013 and as member of the Helcom-VASAB WG Finland is preparing guidance on how the ecosystem approach should be taken into account in the MSP Process. Furthermore it is planned that an expert shall investigate the Finnish situation in terms of MSP and what should be done next.
Hopefully within the next three years not only the legislative framework will be in place, but also a 1st draft for a MSP in the coastal areas and a 1st draft for a pan-Baltic MSP based on the advice / guide book of the Helcom-VASAB WG.

The MSP legislation is available since 2004 leading to a spatial plan for the German parts of the EEZ, which was enforced in 2009/2010. The important shipping routes in the area are the basic structure of this plan, but the main driving force for the plan was the energy sector – more specifically the pressure for installing offshore wind parks. The Federal Ministry has to cooperate with the Federal States of MV, Schleswig Holstein and Lower Saxony that have the responsibility to plan for the 12 sea miles zone. The cooperation is not always easy but is
improving. The cooperation difficulties are inherent to MSP processes, they are present when the systems
are centralised or decentralised, as the MSP process requires broad consultation with stakeholders and
authorities in both cases. EU recommendations on how to use the tools and instruments for MSP would be
helpful for handling these processes, but harmonisation of the MSP process is not possible.
It is hoped that the Baltic States look forward to achieve the BaltSeaPlan Vision in 2030 by following its

MSP law is available since 2003 and a first pilot MSP project was prepared under PlanCoast for the Gdansk Bay. As a follow-up improvements were introduced in the MSP legislation. It is expected that this will be adopted after  going through the necessary formal procedures. Early 2012 the government adopted the National Spatial Development Concept in which the Polish sea space is included as an important part of the Polish territory. This concept contains certain directions towards a spatial vision of the Polish sea areas.
During BaltSeaPlan project experience on how to plan in offshore areas and on SEA in the context of MSP
was gained. This experience will be reflected in the improvements of the Polish legislation.

A tender for the preparation of a strategic MSP for all Polish areas including EEZ (excluding ports) will soon be
launched. The Maritime Administration has the planning responsibility, but has to cooperate with the
coastal communities as the revision of the law foresees that the maritime authority has to come to an agreement with the other relevant authorities including the regional authorities.
There is a wish for a harmonized MSP in the EU.

EU perspective
The developments of the Baltic Sea countries are encouraging. Three years ago there was no concept what MSP could mean in the EU context and today this is “on the Map”.
The enormous amount of interest for the subject acts as a motivation. It was not expected that so much would happen in these 3 years. By now there is a broad understanding why MSP is needed and what it means.
Everybody agrees on the need of an EU approach for MSP and the debates on how this should eventually look like. This will lead to a decision on the best possible way to go with MSP in the EU. Definitely the last thing the EU wants is to interfere on how the states / regions plan their seas. Nevertheless a coherent EU concept for MSP would be of advantage to promote the maritime economies.

Guidance for MSP

In terms of getting MSP done, it is not enough that the EU simply gives recommendations on how to do MSP. How this is implemented in practical terms has to be adapted to the specificities of the countries and regional sea basins.

Session moderated by Ms. Schultz-Zehden project coordination office of BaltSeaPlan

Schultz-Zehden, Angela, manager-owner of s.Pro - sustainable-projects GmbH, has been the External Project Coordinator of BaltCoast, PlanCoast and BaltSeaPlan.
In this role she has been co-author of numerous publications on maritime spatial planning and acts as policy and project development advisor to CBSS, VASAB and other national / transnational BSR organizations.
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National Strategies and their influence on Maritime Spatial Planning

Zaucha, Jacek is professor of economics at the University of Gdansk and research fellow of the Maritime Institute in Gdansk, founder of the Development Institute and former Deputy Secretary of the intergovernmental co-operation “Visions and Strategies around the Baltic Sea VASAB 2010”.
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For all BaltSeaPlan countries except Denmark the BaltSeaPlan project partnership has done an impact assessment of all national strategies with relevance to the sea space and produced some recommendations for national maritime policies based on this analysis.
In the presentation of Mr. Zaucha you can see how this assessment was done, which are the policies with most influence and recommendations. One such key recommendation is “When developing Maritime policy pan-Baltic co-operation should be applied”.

Stakeholder involvement in MSP – Conclusions from BaltSeaPlan Pilots

Pentz, Tim-Ake worked for the Baltic Sea Project Office at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany as Maritime Spatial Planning Officer with focus on stakeholder management in MSP processes.
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Ruskule, Anda works for the NGO Baltic Environmental Forum (BEF) – Latvia on nature conservation and water management projects as well as leading the nature conservation programme of the BEF Group.
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Varios methods of stakeholder involvement have been developed and carried out within BaltSeaPlan Pilot Cases. This experience has been analysed jointly by the BaltSeaPlan partnership and is presented in a special report (BaltSeaPlan report 24 – Stakeholder Involvement in Maritime Spatial Planning).
In the presentation of Mr. Pentz and Ms. Ruskule you can find a glimpse of this work, understand what makes stakeholder involvement in MSP different from other kinds of stakeholder involvement and learn specifically about the intensive stakeholder involvement process used at the Western Coast of Latvia pilot case (BaltSeaPlan Report 16 - Developing a Pilot Maritime Spatial Plan for the Western Coast of Latvia).

Modelling for MSP – practical examples on how to use models in the MSP process

Mohn, Christian is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Bioscience (former NERI), Aarhus University, Denmark. Read More →
The BaltSeaPlan modelling team in close cooperation with the BaltSeaPlan planners evaluated the potential role of models and model data with relevance to MSP based on results of the project. In the presentation of Mr. Mohn you can learn about which models were analysed, the Ecological Evaluation Framework and see some examples on how models can reply to management and planning questions.

The special case of how to consider fishery in MSPs – challenges and opportunities

Lamp, Jochen is head of Baltic Sea Project Office at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Germany).
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Fishery is one of the economically and environmentally most significant uses of the sea, but is often neglected in MSP.
The BaltSeaPlan community dedicated part of its time to understand why fisheries are not being taken into account in MSP until now and how this could eventually be included. As background to the pilots diverse studies on fisheries in the area, a Marxan simulation on suitable areas for fishing, a legal study on fishery issues and a remote sensing exercise on gill nets were done
The presentation from Mr. Lamp presents an overview of this work.

MSP in transboundary areas – the case of Pomeranian Bight

Käppeler, Bettina works for the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH), which is the Lead Partner in the BaltSeaPlan project. She is dealing especially with the Pomeranian Bight pilot study.
One of the transnational Pilot Projects of BaltSeaPlan was the Pomeranian Bight /Arkona Basin. The area is situated between Denmark, Germany, Poland and southern Sweden west of the island of Bornholm and is subject to many interests, such as shipping, offshore wind energy development, sand and gravel extraction, pipelines & submarine cables, while at the same time being significant for nature conservation, fisheries and tourism. With this pilot the project lays not only a draft MSP for the area but also showed the challenges and possible solutions of a process involving five planning areas subject to different interests and planning cultures as well as varying availability of background information.
In the presentation of Bettina Käppeler you will learn about this process, tools used to produce the MSP for this area, key lesson, insights and recommendation for transnational MSP.
The full report on the Pilot Case: Pomeranian Bight will soon be available for download at the BaltSeaPlan website.

Approaching MSP for offshore areas - beyond BaltSeaPlan

Zaucha, Jacek
See above
The Middle Bank is the largest shallow water area at the Baltic Sea. It is situated far from the coast at the Swedish / Polish EEZ border and has therefore only a very limited number of active stakeholders. The work of the BaltSeaPlan partnership demonstrates, how an MSP can be prepared for such an area, where there are – in comparison to coastal zones – only a very few active stakeholders and much less information available, while at the same time dealing with two different countries. Being more of strategic nature, with the purpose of preventing possible future conflicts rather than mitigating current ones, the resulting MSP looks quite different from former samples and might potentially lay the basis for similar type of MSPs in other offshore areas.
In the presentation of Jacek Zaucha you can see an overview of this work. The report on this pilot project is already available in paper format, for copy please approach the BaltSeaPlan coordination office (

Closing Speech - Final Conclusions - beyond BaltSeaPlan

In this speech Nico Nolte presented the final conclusions of this conference. Please see speech in attachment.
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This project is part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)
Baltic Sea Region