Conference MSP NATURE 2020

Nature Conservation in Marine Spatial Planning:
how to reconcile human activities with ecological functions


1. Fundamentals - Legal and planning framework for Marine Spatial Planning

Session 1 presents the basic principles and methods of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). This includes, in particular, the legal bases for MSP. International maritime law, European law, and national legal aspects will be considered. Special attention is paid to the international conventions (e.g. CBD, CMS, Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, SDG, etc.). The characteristics of MSP shall also be discussed. Is MSP a management approach of a recommendatory nature or should it be a binding set of rules? The session will present an exchange of different experiences with MSP.

2. MSP – national and international Examples

Internationally, there are great differences in how Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is understood and implemented. Marine spatial plans can be legally binding or recommendatory, formal or informal, holistic or sectoral. In Session 2 different national systems will be presented and comparative analyses will be carried out. The session is intended to promote an exchange of national systems and approaches to MSP and to show ways in which ecological aspects have so far been taken into account in the respective national marine spatial plans. Furthermore, the session should serve as an opportunity to present concepts and ideas (e.g. Carrying Capacity, Multi-Use, etc.) to strengthen the integration of ecological concerns in MSP.

3. Marine Nature Conservation

Marine nature conservation is a strong part of marine environmental protection. Up to now, marine nature conservation has essentially been limited to the protection of species and habitats. Spatial aspects are largely taken into account by designating Marine Protected Areas (MPA). This is considered insufficient. The aim of this session is to discuss which ecological values should be protected and in which way should the protection take place. Furthermore, the relationship between MPAs and MSP will be addressed. Additionally, different concepts (e.g. Marine landscape planning, Green Infrastructure, etc.) and their value for nature conservation shall be presented.

4. Ecosystem-Based-Approach – Integration of Nature Conservation into MSP

The Ecosystem-Based-Approach (EBA) serves to ensure a more or less coordinated approach in the planning process and helps to overcome national borders in the interest of good transnational MSP. Guidance on the application of the EBA in a transnational context can be found in the CBD and the Aichi Targets, in regional agreements (such as HELCOM and OSPAR) and, in Europe, in European law. The session will focus on the EBA in the context of MSP. To approach the question of how ecosystem-based MSP can improve marine nature conservation, concepts for integrating ecological findings into MSP will be presented – Ecosystem based approach: from WHAT to HOW.

5. ERASMUS+ Knowledge Flows - Visions for MSP beyond 2021

In Europe, maritime spatial plans have to be adopted in line with the MSP Directive by March 2021. As this deadline for the establishment of maritime spatial plans is approaching soon, this session is focussing on what is happening next. This session will present an exchange of different future visions of MSP. We invite you to participate in the MSP Young Planners’ Plenary. What are your visions or ideas for the future of MSP? What are you working on and how does your current work relate to future-oriented MSP? Join this discussion round and presentation of pitch talks.