BaltSeaPlan will support the call of the EU for its member states to draw up integrated national maritime strategies and implement Integrated Maritime Spatial Planning (IMSP). It realises Helcoms recommendation on Broad Scale Planning and the VASAB Gdansk declaration and builds on the results of projects like BaltCoast, Balance, Coastman, EWW and PlanCoast.It is the growing pressure on the Baltic Sea space and resources both on- and offshore which calls for an urgent and unified action by all countries of the region. Shipping, wind farming, nature protection, mineral extraction and shore protection (climate change) are only examples. Integrated Maritime Spatial Planning offers a neutral tool to arbitrate between these conflicting or competing activities or interests. It can, however, only yield its full benefits if all coastal Member States introduce compatible and comparable IMSP systems! But with the exception of Germany no BSR country has an appropriate legislation so far. This represents not only a challenge, but also chance to BaltSeaPlan, in creating a joint understanding of the necessary instruments and processes for a successful IMSP realisation. BaltSeaPlan brings together the key players throughout the BSR involved in IMSP. In countries, where implementing institutions exist, those have been appointed as project partners. In the other cases the leading expert organisations have been appointed, which are all endorsed by their relevant national bodies.
The project will encompass the whole range of IMSP steps:
1. Stocktaking: Compilation of current sea uses in the BSR. In selected cases new GIS datasets and maps will be produced to fill existing data gaps. Data exchange according to the EU INSPIRE directive will be promoted.
2. Assessment of national frameworks, methodologies and underlying strategies for Maritime Spatial Planning; preparation of various scenarios => on this basis proposals for National Maritime Strategies will be made
3. Development of a common vision for the Baltic Sea taking into account transnational interdependencies and cumulative impacts
4. Testing of new methods and standards through the realisation of a series of national and cross-border pilot maritime spatial plans
5. Extensive dissemination and capacity building measures on all levels: stakeholder involvement, participative planning methods, BaltSeaPlan conferences and workshops including networks / experts from within as well as outside the BSR
6. Preparation of a series of guidelines and policy recommendations within transnational expert groups on i.e. integration of use & environmental data, assessment methodologies; IMSP framework; international cooperation.