16.03.2017 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

UNESCO and the European Commission elaborate a common roadmap for the planning of maritime space

©UNESCO: Journalist Jacki Davis moderates opening panel of the 2nd International MSP Conference at UNESCO Headquarters

Paris, 16 March 2017, the international conference on marine spatial planning currently brings together over 350 experts from all regions of the world at UNESCO’s Headquarters.

One major objective:

Triple the surface of territorial waters benefiting from marine spatial planning by 2025, i.e. one third of the total surface area of waters under national jurisdiction.

Towards this objective, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission will publish on March 24th a road map developed during the conference to encourage spatial planning in all the seas and ocean basins of the world.

Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning:

It is a process that consists in regulating human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives in order to prevent conflicts between sectors of activity and to promote international cooperation.

The intensification of maritime activities in coastal waters requires the establishment of such planning. Traditional activities, such as fishing and navigation, in addition to more recent practices that have arisen in the last decades such as tourism, offshore aquaculture or renewable marine energies can lead to overexploitation of resources and the marine environment as well as conflicts between different users.

As both a political process and a cross-sectorial instrument, marine spatial planning enables public authorities and stakeholders to apply a coordinated, integrated and cross-border approach. An ecosystem approach will further promote the sustainable development and growth of maritime and coastal economies and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.

At the end of the first day of the conference, we retain some key messages from the experts:

“Three days to develop a global road map for marine spatial planning”

"We care about people, we care about environment"

“MSP is not a win-win process, but a trade-off”

“Marine planners create order where no natural order exist"

"Marine planning challenges the status quo of marine governance"

“MSP is a must-have to shape the future…”

“Sustainability and governance are the first things when we think MSP”

"MSP is an ongoing process and takes time, but we need to find a compromise because there is no time to wait"

“MSP key ingredients: fishermen involved in process, shared vision, integrated global mechanism and cross-sector commitment”

For further information on the conference

Official Conference Website

Contact : Alejandro Iglesias Campos, Tel +33 1 45 68 40 23 | a.iglesias-campos(at)unesco.org




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