Our seas are facing increasing competition for space and resources — between old sectors, such as fishing, and new, such as offshore wind farms.
This competition can lead to conflicts. Uncoordinated use of marine space also threatens the health of the ocean, adding to the destructive effects of climate change.
Protecting the marine environment, reducing conflicts and encouraging investment are the aims of maritime spatial planning, or MSP — a process that puts economic activities and ecosystems on a map. Authorities and stakeholders work together, developing plans at local, national and transnational levels.
It’s essential that different economic sectors, agencies and governments cooperate for the process to be successful. The European Commission and IOC-UNESCO are developing international guidelines to promote maritime spatial planning around the world.
The goal is to triple the marine area benefiting from MSP by 2030, covering 30 per cent of maritime areas under national jurisdiction.