Europe's seas offer unparalleled opportunities for sustainable use, both for traditional and emerging maritime sectors. Blue growth is contingent on ecosystem health, and activities need to be carefully planned in relation to each other and the surrounding environment.
Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is recognised as a key mechanism for achieving these goals. However, MSP requires careful coordination across marine and coastal jurisdictions, to take account of the interests and dynamics of neighbouring areas.
Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic (TPEA), co-funded by DG Mare, is developing a commonly-agreed approach to cross-border MSP in the European Atlantic region. The TPEA project is a response to the European Commission’s call for a project on Maritime Spatial Planning in the Atlantic, including Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay, and follows on from similar projects recently completed for the Baltic, Bothnian and North Seas.
TPEA involves ten governmental and research partners from Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK, and expert advisors from the whole region are also actively involved. The project is carrying out cross-border planning exercises in two pilot sites, one in the north of the region (within the waters of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) and another in the south Atlantic (within the waters of Spain and Portugal situated around Guadiana).
The project will examine critical elements of the planning process in the context of legal and policy frameworks, participatory approaches and technical considerations.
Project website: http://www.tpeamaritime.eu/