Project deliverable Open Access

SIMNORAT - The definition and application of MSP by the OSPAR Convention (D4)

Marques M.; Quintela, A.; Sousa, L.P.; Silva, A.; Alves, F.L.; Dilasser, J.; Ganne, M.; Sala, P.; Cervera- Núñez, C.; Campillos-Llanos, M.; Gómez-Ballesteros, M.; Alloncle, N.; Giret, O.

Component: 1.3.1 Develop and propose a conceptual methodology for transboundary MSP in the Northern Atlantic, with operational details on selected aspects

Sub-component: 1.3.1.2 The definition and application of MSP by the OSPAR Convention taking into consideration the relationship between EU and non EU countries

The political commitment for MSP by OSPAR and the cooperation in the North Sea were addressed in the Bergen Declaration, assigned in 2002, in the Fifth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea.

OSPAR Convention does not have a direct role on MSP implementation neither a legal framework. Despite this fact, OSPAR has an important contribution setting baseline information and guidelines in key aspects to the success of the development of a joint regional marine spatial planning perspective, especially on the development of OSPAR region, tailor-made principles for maritime spatial planning.

An Intersessional Correspondence Groups (ICG) Working Group on MSP was established to design a set of guidelines to implement MSP in the North Atlantic Region in which all Contracting Parties agreed to pursue strategies that would promote cooperation in spatial planning between competent authorities.

Questions of concern about transboundary cooperation on MSP, transnational consultation and the requirement of a region-specific, tailor-made approach to apply MSP supporting the Ecosystem Approach and the share of experiences and best practices regarding marine spatial planning are also central questions set in the OSPAR´s North-East Atlantic environment Strategy.

OSPAR develops mechanisms for early transnational consultation on spatial plans highlighting the interactions that could promote integration, early stakeholder involvement and the introduction of MSP by all Contracting Parties.

OSPAR is also actively involved in, and supportive of, initiatives and projects in MSP undertaken by the European Commission under the Integrated Maritime Policy.

OSPAR Commission serves as an efficient platform to encourage, facilitate a regional seas MSP approach, and provide comprehensive regional marine perspectives in cross-border cooperation, which is critical to sustainable development.

This report was produced as part of SIMNORAT Project (Grant Agreement N0. EASME/EMFF/2015/1.2.1.3/03/SI2.742089). Competition for maritime space – for renewable energy equipment, aquaculture and other uses – has highlighted the need to manage our waters more coherently. Maritime spatial planning (MSP) works across borders and sectors to ensure human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. That is why the European Parliament and the Council have adopted a legislation to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning in Europe. The Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 (said Maritime Spatial Planning Directive) establishes a framework in order to reduce conflicts between sectors and create synergies between different activities, to encourage investment – by creating predictability, transparency and clearer rules, to increase cross-border cooperation – between EU countries to develop energy grids, shipping lanes, pipelines, submarine cables and other activities, but also to develop coherent networks of protected areas, and to protect the environment – through early identification of impact and opportunities for multiple use of space. The SIMNORAT project (Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in the Northern European Atlantic) is an EU/DG Mare co-funded cross-border project. It was launched on 1st of January 2017 and involves Portugal, Spain and France, while these countries had just designated their Competent Authorities and transposed the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive. SIMNORAT aims to support the implementation of the MSP Directive in the waters of Portugal, Spain and France, as well as to establish cross-border cooperation mechanisms between these Member States, to contribute to the coherence of their marine spatial plans to be established in 2021. The action ran until 31st of January 2019 and was based on a partnership of public bodies of the countries and one international organisation. It was composed of UAVR, CEDEX, IEO, AFB, CEREMA, Shom, and CPMR. Shom acted as coordinator. The objectives of the SIMNORAT project were addressed through a variety of activities and desktop or case studies. They are dedicated to identifying the methodology steps, and explore the challenges and opportunities of the MSP implementation in the Northern European Atlantic, including thus related to transboundary issues (Ecosystem based approach, marine policies, OSPAR Convention, Land Sea Interactions, geographical scale of the plans, data interoperability, tools to support MSP). The project led to a multiplicity of outputs including overviews of MSP relevant information related to the countries and on more focus areas, to a number of interviews and meetings where stakeholder views were collected to feed the reasoning, and to guidelines and good practices to be shared at a national and transnational level with marine stakeholders, scientific as well as planners, administrations and authorities. In addition, SIMNORAT permitted a lot of progression internally in the countries and regarding transboundary cooperation. It led to establish and develop new dialogues and to connect the technical or scientific actors, the stakeholders, the administrations of the countries of a same sea basin, and the administrations within the countries, including the representative of Regions. It allowed to better understand Maritime Spatial Planning mechanisms, to share knowledge and as such reached to build capacities, which is of importance as there is such a need in the Atlantic area compared to more Northern countries. The project also permitted to address topics which have never been addressed before. The involvement of France and Spain in SIMNORAT and in the EU-DG Mare sister projects SIMWESTMED and SIMCelt was useful for them to develop a global vision with their neighbours in the Western Mediterranean. At the end of this exercise, it is stated the need of pursuing the work and dialogue in particular through common tools, but at this stage, the SIMNORAT project has constituted a common knowledge and background. Disclaimer: The contents and conclusions of this report, including the maps and figures were developed by the participating partners with the best available knowledge at the time. They do not necessarily reflect the national governments' positions and are not official documents, nor data. The European Commission or Executive Agency for Small and Medium sized Enterprises is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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