New set of policy briefs highlights role of Marine Spatial Planning in sustainable ocean governance

The MSPglobal Initiative has just published five policy briefs highlighting the importance of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) for a sustainable governance of the ocean. These documents aim to help decision-makers and relevant stakeholders make coordinated decisions that allow for a more sustainable use and management of marine resources.

As our ocean spaces become increasingly busy and a changing climate alters ocean conditions, MSP has been recognized as an important planning framework to foster an environmentally sound development of ocean-based activities.

Built on the contributions of international experts, the new MSPglobal policy briefs help to understand why the increasing range and intensity of uses (recreation and tourism, shipping, fishing, wind farms, etc.) in marine and coastal waters – including the land-sea interface – require integrated, adaptive and climate-smart MSP approaches.

The documents provide concrete examples and recommendations on how to achieve a sustainable governance of the ocean through multiple economic, ecological and social objectives, taking into account global frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

They aim to support decision-makers and relevant stakeholders to make coordinated decisions, including through collaboration across borders for regional development, with a view to reducing conflicts and promoting coexistence and synergies in the maritime domain.

These policy briefs were developed by MSPglobal, a joint initiative between UNESCO’s Intergovernmental oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) of the European Union. They also represent important inputs to the International MSP guidance developed by both institutions.