The Marine Spatial Planning Initiative (MSP) was established in 2018 by the IOC and the European Commission after the publication of a joint roadmap to accelerate maritime/marine spatial planning processes worldwide. The MSP initiative states MSP is "a public process of analysing and allocating spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that are usually specified through a political process". 

The Initiative is split into MSPglobal and MSPforum, both of which feed into the MSProadmap. The recommendations from the roadmap have been split across the two MSP programmes. MSPglobal focuses on: transboundary MSP, building a sustainable blue economy, ecosystem-based MSP and capacity building. The MSPforum priority is to build a mutual understanding of MSP and to communicate this effectively. 

The UK has been involved in the MSP initiative in a number of ways:

  • Joseph Kofi Ansong (Ulster University) is among the seven individuals that make up the International Expert Group of MSPglobal and attends the International MSPforum meetings.
  • Rhona Fairgrieve (Scottish Coastal Forum) was part of the opening plenary at the first International MSPforum meeting.
  • Rebecca Kavanagh (Orkney Islands Council) was part of the panel on sector-specific aspects with local stakeholders at the second International MSPforum meeting.
  • Sue Kidd (University of Liverpool) was a speaker on 'Planning for Climate Change: Solutions and Choices' at the fourth International MPSforum meeting.
  • Stephen Jay and Hannah Jones of the University of Liverpool contributed to the Technical Study on Maritime Spatial Planning for Blue Growth (report here).
  • Deborah Shinoda (Heriot-Watt University) co-authored three of the MSPglobal policy briefs: (1) Identifying Existing and Future Conditions in Marine Spatial Planning (2) Climate Change and Marine Spatial Planning and (3) Ocean Governance and Marine Spatial Planning


UK Point of Contact: Joseph Kofi Ansong (Ulster University)


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