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Multiple Agency Cooperation for Implementing the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive

Roger Longhorn

(Submission #191)


The EU Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive (Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning) was published in August 2014. The Directive requires Members States to use the ‘best available data’, including environmental, social and economic data and ‘marine physical data about marine waters’, taking into account policies such as those set out in the INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC.

Article 8 of the MSP Directive states that spatial plans ‘shall take into consideration relevant interactions of activities and uses’. These include aquaculture and fishing areas; installations and infrastructures for the exploration, exploitation and extraction of oil, gas and other energy resources, minerals and aggregates; production of renewable energy; maritime transport routes and traffic flows; military training areas; nature and species conservation sites and protected areas; raw material extraction areas; submarine cable and pipeline routes; scientific research; tourism and underwater cultural heritage.

Considering the list of activities and uses above, one can see that many different types of data must be collected and shared across numerous government agencies operating in often quite different sectors or areas of responsibility. This is especially true where spatial planning at the coastline is concerned, a complex physical environment where land-based activities and uses meet those of the near-shore marine community – creating also a complex ‘information territory’ for spatial planners.

In 2016, EuroSDR linked with the Global SDI Association (GSDI) to expand coverage of an on-going GSDI Strategic Project (Marine/Coastal SDI Best Practice). EuroSDR is a not-for-profit organisation linking National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs) with research institutes and universities in Europe for applied research in spatial data provision, management and delivery. GSDI is directly involved with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in their Marine SDI Working Group, at the same time as IHO is promulgating a new marine information standard – S-100 (based on ISO 19xxx standards) – that is intended to aid Hydrographic Organizations in making much better use of the volumes of marine information that HOs collect as part of their legal mandates in Member States.

The goal of the enhanced Marine/Coastal SDI Best Practice Project is examining the challenges faced by NMCAs and HOs in working together in providing underpinning spatial data that will aid EU governments to satisfy the reporting requirements of the MSP Directive. The presentation will report on results of the project as of September 2017.


Topic Area:  [1.8] Spatial planning (land – maritime)
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   marine, maritime, spatial planning, marine planning, hydrographic office, NMCA, harmonization, hydrography, coast, coastline, coastal, interoperability, policy

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