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Preparatory Action on Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea

Period: December 2010 till May 2012
Status: Completed

Institutes (6)  Top 
  • European Commission (EC), more, sponsor
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), more, partner
  • Deltares, more, partner
  • Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut (vTI), more, partner
  • Technical University of Denmark (DTU), more, partner
  • Universiteit Gent (UGent), more, partner

The European Integrated Maritime Policy and the underlying Marine Strategy Framework Directive
are currently driving the development of maritime spatial planning in most EU Member States. The
EC’s Communication describing a “Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning” highlights 10 key
principles upon which this development should be based.
With a focus on the territorial waters of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, the
proposed MASPNOSE project aims to facilitate concrete, cross-border cooperation among
European countries on ecosystem-based maritime spatial planning (MSP). Building on previous and
ongoing initiatives, the project will explore opportunities for collaboration among North Sea
countries and envision an international strategy for the Southern North Sea, establishing elements
for a common agenda for cooperation of countries in the region.
MASPNOSE will examine in detail the development of MSP in Belgian, Dutch, German and Danish
waters while focusing heavily on cross-border issues and opportunities in areas shared by these
countries. The project will gather information and analyse the current conditions, including
ecological and biological features as well human use and its impact.
The project will use this information to design a process for cross-border MSP and to develop a
concept for monitoring and evaluation of these processes. MASPNOSE will draft spatial plans for
selected cross-border areas. These plans will contain different options for cross-border cooperation
and will test the applicability of the 10 key MSP principles developed by the EC. MASPNOSE will
uncover and in generic terms describe any gaps, recommendations and novel perspectives that will
improve these principles for the benefit of any country or countries with national and/or cross-border
MSP on their agenda.
The MASPNOSE project acknowledges the overarching importance of national authorities in MSP
development as well as the very important role of other stakeholders. The proposed project
therefore makes stakeholders and integral part of the work through inclusion in a broad advisory
board as well as a number of stakeholder meetings and conferences.

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