Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


6th conference on Maritime Spatial Planning: MSP Worldwide

Event date:
23/06/2016 (All day) to 24/06/2016 (All day)
Table of Contents
    presentations now available

    Maritime Spatial Planning Worldwide

    23rd – 24th June 2016

    The conference on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Worldwide is the 6th in a series of events organised by the Commission's DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries on MSP and its various connections to economic sectors and the environment. As in previous editions, the conference aims at furthering the understanding of MSP and at sharing experiences among policy makers, practitioners, academics and stakeholders. Unlike its predecessors, both its topic and target audience are global.

    The EU has taken several steps to better manage its seas and oceans, including the adoption of the Maritime Strategy Framework Directive and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. These instruments are now in the process of being implemented, setting new benchmarks and breaking new ground. Now is also the time to look beyond the European experience for examples of what type of solutions worked under which conditions, what obstacles may lay ahead and what benefits await. In order to address global challenges, like climate change and sustainable development, it may also be useful to consider issues related to international and cross-border cooperation and the development of synergies.

    The conference seeks to address these subjects by bringing together a group of high-level experts and a diverse audience ready to engage on the subject of MSP. The Government of the Azores has kindly offered to host the meeting during an official visit of Commissioner Vella to the islands, on 23-24 June 2016.

    Here below is an outline of the conference's programme.

    23 June 2016

    14:30-15:00 Opening Session

    The opening session will frame the day’s debates and introduce the opportunities and challenges that Maritime Spatial Planning offers around the world.

    Chair and moderator: João Luis Gaspar, dean of the Azores University (requested)

    Welcoming remarks

    • Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
    • Vasco Cordeiro, President of the Azores Government

    15:00-16:30 - Session 1: MSP around the world – experiences from the EU and the rest of the world


    Moderator: prof. Helena Calado, Azores University


    • Zeljka Skaricic, Director of PAP/RAC (Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre)
    • Dixon Waruinge, Head of the Secretariat of the Nairobi Convention at UNEP
    • Damon Stanwell-Smith, Head of Marine Environment at NIRAS International Consulting

    The first session will frame the debates, highlighting the main issues lessons from MSP implementation. The speakers will describe their experiences, including what processes and tools worked well and which ones were more challenging. Some examples will be cases of cross-border MSP, MSP and land-sea interactions and stakeholder involvement. Stakeholder's expectations regarding the MSP process and their representation in former or current projects may also be presented.

    Coffee break: 30 minutes

    17:00-18:30 - Session 2: Maritime Spatial Planning as a tool to develop a sustainable maritime economy


    Moderator: prof. Helena Calado, Azores University


    • Matt Gubbins, MSP Programme Manager in Scotland
    • Paul Holthus, President and CEO of the World Ocean Council
    • Lodewijk Abspoel, Senior Policy Advisor North Sea, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands

    During this session speakers will present their assessments and experiences of the economic benefits of MSP and its role as a tool to develop a Blue Economy. The session will explore the reality of spatial competition at sea and the existing or potential benefits of maritime planning in encouraging sustainable growth. The interventions will include concrete examples of what worked and what did not work, what were the constraints, trade-offs and the opportunities.

    Networking event


    24 June 2016

    09:00-10:30 - Session 3: Maritime Spatial Planning in international waters


    Moderator: prof. Helena Calado, Azores University


    • David Johnson, Director of Seascape consultants
    • Glenn Nolan, Secretary General of EuroGOOS
    • Steve Fletcher, Head of Marine Programme, UNEP-WCMC
    • Carolina Hazin, Global Biodiversity Policy Coordinator at BirdLife International


    This session will explore the possibility of using area-based management regimes in international waters. The speakers will share their experiences, but also outline the potential for MSP in international waters as well as its limits. Some examples could cover the existing experience on Maritime Protected Areas in international waters as well as on the management of the deep sea and seabed.

    Coffee break

    11:00-12:30 - Session 4: MSP and climate change


    Moderator: prof. Helena Calado, Azores University


    • Alain De Comarmond, Principal Secretary (Environment Department), at the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Seychelles.
    • Eleni Hatziyanni, Director of Environment and Spatial Planning, Directorate of Environment and Spatial Planning, Region of Crete, Greece
    • Telmo Morato, Research associate at IMAR, University of the Azores.

    This session will look into how MSP can be used in the context of one of the biggest challenges of our century: climate change adaptation and mitigation. Speakers will share their experiences on issues like building resistance to climate change through the use of Maritime Protected Areas, improving our understanding of ecosystem connectivity, and adapting uses of the sea to future or ongoing changes. This should also lead to a better understanding of the potential for international cooperation.

    12:30-13:00 Closing session


    For enquiries about the event, please contact

    Should you wish to register please click here.





    • Arnaud Appriou, EU Fisheries Attaché, Nouakchott's picture

      Some actors in Mauritania expressed the wish to participate in the conference.
      However, their participation would depend on the working language of the conference and related documents. Would you please let me know if French translation would be provided during the conference ?

    • John Martins's picture

      This plan looks very interesting. I will definitely be following the conference closely, and with this panel of experts, something productive can only be expected from the conference.

      Best regards

    • VEYRE's picture

      Comment s'inscrire à cette conférence?
      Bien cordialement
      Philippe Veyre
      chargé de mission recherche milieux littoraux et marins
      Direction de la recherche et de l'innovation
      Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Energie et de la Mer
      Tour Séquoia
      92055 La Défense cedex

    • Melissa Moore's picture

      Is there any funding available to cover transport to the conference?
      Thank you
      Head of Planning, Marine Conservation Society

    • David's picture

      nice information