Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Horizon Europe project MSP4BIO – Improved science-based maritime spatial planning to safeguard and restore biodiversity in a coherent European MPA network

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) enables a more integrated and sustainable planning of ocean uses and resources. It is a key instrument towards integrated maritime policy and blue economy. Thus, one would expect that the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs), would be incorporated into MSP. In practice, however, there is only little integration between them. Theoretical work has been done on the issue, but the development and validation of such integrated approaches is still needed.

The main objective of MSP4BIO is to develop an integrated and modular Ecological-Socio-Economic (ESE) management framework for the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems. The solutions developed in the project will fill gaps on marine biodiversity and its management, by better linking spatial ecological features with socio-economic elements. The framework will take into account the criteria and objectives of relevant policies (MSFD, WFD, MSPD, CFP, etc.) and contribute to the EU Biodiversity Strategy (EUBS) 2030 and the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework.

Six test sites in five European Sea Basins have been selected to conduct the analysis and to showcase and operationalize the ESE management framework. The test sites reflect the processes that are taking place at the national, sub-and-supranational levels, at different geographical scales, and focus on different socio-economic and environmental challenges. Communities of Practice (CoP) will be established in each of the test sites for the effective interaction with planners, regulators, and researchers relevant for MSP and MPAs. Interactions will take place in the form of workshops and focus group meetings. This is expected to facilitate exchange, to build ownership, thus ensuring uptake of developed tools in test areas and beyond.

MSP4BIO work packages

Project website


Mock Employee
Kemal Pınarbaşı

HELCOM Project Coordinator

Mock Employee
Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky

HELCOM Special Advisor

Mock Employee
Lotta Ruokanen

HELCOM Professional Secretary