On 26 April 2024, the second Mission Arena in Riga hosted the workshop “Policy coherence as a platform for better integration of marine conservation in MSP and sectoral policies: Regional pilots and examples“, where CrossGov partners Antti Belinskij and Suvi-Tuuli Puharinen from the University of Eastern Finland presented the Baltic Sea and Finnish pilots. They discussed how marine-related policies could be better aligned to implement the EU Green Deal goals.

Belinskij and Puharinen highlighted the challenges of integrating Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) within existing legal frameworks and the necessity for broader participation to target marine conservation effectively. They argued that MSP could address the shortcomings of fragmented biodiversity protection legislation. To strengthen MSP at the Member State level, they emphasised the need to reinforce its legal implications and integrate marine conservation into sectoral policies.

The discussions provided valuable insights into the feasibility of considering the Baltic Sea uniformly for MSP purposes, the diverse implementation of MSP across national contexts, and the potential for integrating offshore renewable energy within or near Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Participants debated various barriers to MPA/MSP integration and proposed potential solutions, emphasising three key points:

💡 Strengthening MSP as a Policy Instrument:
– Enhance MSP at different levels (EU, national, and local) to efficiently implement the Ecosystem-Based Approach.
– Improve coordination with and mainstreaming of marine protection policies.

💡 Ensuring Sustainable Funding:
– Promote better integration of MSP, EU Green Deal, MPAs, and sectoral policies.
– Encourage cross-sectoral cooperation, including involving MSP authorities in MPA designation processes and integrating Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requirements.

💡 Improving Land-Sea Interaction Integration:
– Enhance the MSP process by integrating it with land-based activities and planning.
– Ensure better assessment and inclusion of Land-Sea Interactions.

Read more about the workshop:

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