Learn more about the Position Paper on Maritime Spatial Planning produced by the BGC.
At the end of March 2021, the Blue Growth Interreg MED project sent a “Position Paper” with a set of policy recommendations to the main authorities in charge of the maritime spatial plans in Greece, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain, that intends to contribute to the constitution of their maritime spatial planning.
This initiative is aiming to put the blue knowledge existing in the Blue Growth Community at the service of the EU member states, which are called by the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSP 2014/89/EU) to frame maritime spatial plans that identify all existing human activities in EU waters by the end of March 2021.
This could be of great interest at the time of setting clear strategies for the new maritime spatial plans in the Mediterranean region. Moreover, it also responds to the need to support these maritime spatial plans that will have to take into account the need for a Blue Transition able to contribute to the Green Deal’s objectives.
In this regard, the Blue Growth Community urges the EU Mediterranean Member States to take into account three areas of recommendations when drawing their Maritime Spatial Plans:
1. First, the recommendation of using Maritime Spation Planning (MSP) as an instrument to accelerate the development of Marine Renewable Energies (MRE) in the Mediterranean.
Within the area of MRE, the Blue Growth Community suggests to consider a wide array of tools coming from the MED Blue Growth projects as well as from others Communities such as:
- the use of multi-use platforms to enhance synergies between the MRE sector and other sectors like aquaculture, fishing or tourism (PELAGOS “Energy Action Plan in Med”https://pelagos.interreg-med.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Sites/Blue_Growth/Projects/PELAGOS/PELAGOS_D.4.3.1_Action_Plan_in_Med_FINAL.pdf);
- the use of technological tools to support MSP (e.g. MAESTRALE project's geodatabase)
- the adoption of educational schemes for the transfer of innovation (e.g. Blue Deal labs);
- the relevance of implementing campaigns and training platforms to increase awareness about the benefits from Blue Energy exploitation (MAESTRALE and PELAGOS projects);
- the necessity to adapt the existing grids to the specificities of MRE (MAESTRALE and PELAGOS projects);
- the incorporation of the Ecosystem-based approach in the MSP process to reduce impacts on biodiversity (Biodiversity Protection Community), among others.
2. Second, the recommendation of using Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) as an instrument for fostering the sustainability of the aquaculture sector.
With this aim in mind, the Blue Growth Community recommends to implement several actions such as:
- to encourage aquaculture stakeholders to adopt the circular economy practices in the aquaculture sector;
- to implement special allocation zones for aquaculture to minimize the environmental impact and facilitate its integration with other coastal activities (PHAROS4MPAS project);
- to consider some geographic information system tools that have been developed for aquaculture siting (e.g. Aqua Space GIS tool of PHAROS4MPAS project);
- to use circularity assessment tools to assess the level of circularity present in their activities (e.g. BLUEfasma project tools);
- to promote public awareness activities (e.g. BLUEfasma living labs);
- to design investments’ schemes to attract public/private funds for the development of sustainable maritime aquaculture (Webinar towards sustainable Aquaculture, Plan Bleu 2020).
3. Finally, the recommendation of using Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) for fostering a new model of recreation boating aligned with the cohesion policy in the maritime sector in the Mediterranean.
For this purpose, the Blue Growth Community calls attention to a number of measures & tools resulting from MED Blue Growth projects that could be of great interest for relaunching this sector at the occasion of the new MSP. Among those, the following actions are suggested:
- to consider the use of new economic models favouring innovation, competitiveness, employment and social cohesion in the sector, such as the three Pillas Business Model of the iBLUE project (based on the economic, environmental and social pillars);
- to adopt and support the transnational network of the Mediterranean Yachting sector, developed by iBLUE project;
- to promote innovative technologies and services related to “smart marinas” and small medium ports for improving the ports’ ecosystem and their environmental quality, as in Psamides project;
- to adopt educational schemes for the boosting of skills and jobs creation in the sector of recreational boating (Blue Growth Community - Policy Paper);
- to promote public awareness activities on how the recreational boating sector can contribute to environmental sustainability (Blue Growth Community - Policy Paper);
- to put in place environmental monitoring programmes for recreational boating, as concluded by PHAROS4MPAS project.
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For more information, please contact medbluegrowth@ gmail.com