Assessing the environmental credentials of marine spatial plans in Europe

In accordance with the EU MSP directive all EU coastal member states were required to produce marine spatial plans by 2021. Not all have met this deadline but many are now published and adopted by national governments. A key requirement of the MSP directive is that marine spatial plans follow an ecosystem-based approach and contribute to the achievement of Good Environmental Status for marine ecosystems, as set out in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Over the last nine months or so, I have been engaged in the evaluation of selected national-level marine spatial plans, with a view to assessing their degree of alignment with EU environmental legislation and policy objectives. This work has been commissioned by environmental NGOs: Birdlife International and the Irish umbrella NGO Sustainable Water Network (SWAN). In the following, I provide an overview of this work with links to the published reports.

Source: (C) Birdlife International
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Marine Spatial Planning Webinar 18th May 

On Wednesday, May 18th, I will chair a webinar, together with Heather Ritchie of Ulster University focused on MSP challenges and opportunities for local authorities on the island of Ireland. The webinar is hosted by the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) and supported by the Maynooth University Social Science Institute (MUSSI).

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New Project: Assessing the Alignment of Marine Spatial Plans with EU Environmental Legislation

Following a successful tender application, I have been commissioned by BirdLife International to conduct an evaluation of national level Marine Spatial Plans (MSPs). Over the next few months, I will develop a methodology for the assessment of MSPs based on a screening of relevant EU environmental directives. This methodology will initially be applied to four countries located within the Baltic and North Sea Regions: Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden and subsequently made available to practitioners and stakeholders for the evaluation of MSPs across Europe.

BirdLife

Workshop Report: Spatial Strategies at the Land-Sea Interface, Hamburg, September 2019

Spatial Strategies at the Land-Sea Interface: Rethinking Maritime Spatial Planning – Hamburg September 2019: A Workshop Report

A three-day workshop on spatial planning at the land-sea interface took place at Hamburg University, Institute for Geography from 11-13th September. The workshop took place under the umbrella of the Marine Spatial Planning Research Network and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Thematic Group on Transboundary Spaces, Planning Cultures and Policy Diffusion. It explicitly sought to the bring together these two academic communities engaged with spatial planning at sea and on land respectively. In this spirit, Prof. Simin Davoudi (Newcastle University, UK) provided the opening keynote, introducing the concept of spatial imaginaries as way of coming to grips with taken-for-granted geographies of the coast. This conceptual introduction was followed by three papers providing reflections on current practices in MSP research and policy in Poland, Denmark and the UK.

 

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