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Plan4Blue meeting with MSP authorities

Plan4Blue (Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Blue Economies) project invited planning practitioners and authorities responsible for maritime spatial planning (MSP) from both Estonia and Finland for joint meeting in Tallinn, Estonia on 16.11.2017.

Planners and authorities from project area (Gulf of Finland and Archipelago Sea area) were invited to discuss, exchange ideas and plan future collaboration related to cross-border MSP between Estonia and Finland.
> Meeting memo (pdf, 1,5 MB)

One of the key aims of Plan4Blue is to facilitate and improve cross-border collaboration in MSP in the project area. Level, type and aims for cross-border collaboration in MSP may vary, but collaboration is essential: marine activities, species and impacts cross borders. This meeting was a kick-off for facilitating exchange between planning authorities. Plan4Blue will organise similar occasions for the planning authorities and other actors to meet.

Aims were to discuss:

  • National MSP planning systems and timing in both countries
  • Different methods for cross-border collaboration (based on Plan4Blue project’s literature review)
  • Possible contributions by Plan4Blue project into national MSP processes (results and usability)
  • Planning and ideas for cross-border cooperation in this region


The meeting identified key points regarding the cross-border collaboration between countries. The key rationale for cross-border collaboration is to exchange information regularly as planning processes of both countries proceed. There is a need to be aware of:

  • key milestones of the neighbour’s process
  • the planning priorities of countries
  • main actors in both countries
  • relevant projects and their results

Of the ways of organising cross-border collaboration the meeting participants agreed to “take it as it comes”, which means that as MSP processes proceed the topics that need cross-border attention will emerge. This requires:

  • continuous exchange of information
  • meetings in different fora organised by projects such as Plan4Blue and Pan Baltic SCOPE, Baltic RIM, bilateral thematic meetings and HELCOM-VASAB MSP working group

It was also concluded that the nature of the meetings should be as informal as possible.

The meeting discussed also expectations for Plan4Blue as a project. The project presented achieved and expected results of different project activities:

  • potential and scenarios of blue economies
  • environmental vulnerabilities and risks management
  • spatial analysis and mapping
  • cross-border issues and implications

Planning authorities were interested on different data sets and analyses that the project can deliver. Spatial representations of analyses are welcome. The planning authorities suggested that the project should focus especially on cross-border issues. For instance, showing what are the cross-border implication (environmental, social and economic) of planning solutions would be very useful for the planners as this would indicate which cross-border issues are likely to emerge.

National MSP processes



Estonia will produce a national MSP to cover all Estonian waters. There are already two regional maritime plans that will be incorporated into the national plan. A consultant will be responsible for the actual maritime spatial planning and impact assessment of the plan. The MSP authority is the Ministry of Finance, which will coordinate the work. At the moment (December 2017) procurement procedure is underway. Before starting the actual MSP planning process in Estonia, a lot of preparation work has already been done - information and data has been gathered and stakeholder events organized. For instance, Estonia has prepared an economic model to assess costs and benefits of the use of marine areas.

Timing of planning in Estonia:



Finland will produce three maritime plans for its waters. In addition, the autonomous province of Åland will produce a plan for waters under its jurisdiction. Regarding the water areas excluding Åland, responsibility for the governance of maritime spatial planning is divided between the Ministry of Environment and eight Regional Councils. Ministry of the Environment is the National Authority for MSP, while the eight coastal Regional Councils will conduct actual planning. South-West Finland Regional Council has the coordination responsibility. Preparation of the plans will be coordinated to ensure coherence of planning of Finland’s waters.

Timing of planning in Finland:




MSP planners exchange

Plan4Blue WP presentations

Published 2018-01-25 at 17:10, updated 2018-10-02 at 13:52

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