Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM inspires regional discussions on maritime spatial planning data

New approaches for sharing and creating data on maritime spatial planning () have been discussed by the representatives of organizations and initiatives in the Baltic Sea region in a targeted session at this week’s Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning in Riga, Latvia. The session was moderated by Project Coordinator Manuel Frias from HELCOM Secretariat.Session “e-MSP: Data needs for proper maritime planning” by Manuel Frias, HELCOM. Photo: Jonas Pålsson. “There is still much to do in the field of regional data exchange concerning the Baltic Sea even if this activity has been going on for over 100 years, and within HELCOM since the last 40 years. Today’s discussions show that the approach of HELCOM of favouring links to the original data providers via Web Map Service (WMS) and other GIS software tools improves the flow of MSP data in the Baltic Sea area. This approach helps to avoid any outdated data, a risk when copying data to a centralized database,” says Frias.  HELCOM, the co-leader with Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea () of Horizontal Action “Spatial Planning” in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, has recently opened a to facilitate regional data exchange and browsing.  The Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning Forum takes place on 17-18 June 2014 and it is organized by Project, VASAB, as well as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (), Swedish for Marine and Water Management and the of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia.  * * *Note for editors:HELCOM has created thematic and targeted on maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea region, ensuring improved access to GIS and other related data. The new MSP map and data service has been developed with EU funds as a part of HELCOM’s task to implement the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region () Horizontal Action (HA) for which HELCOM is the co-leader with the Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB). In addition, completed activities include the Regional Baltic maritime spatial planning (MSP) 2013–2020 adopted last year at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting. The Roadmap is a concrete set of next steps for MSP in the region, also innovating for new ways to better include fishing and the fisheries sector to MSP. These activities have been carried out under HELCOM HORIZON Project. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * *For further information, please contact:Manuel FriasProject CoordinatorHELCOMTel: +358 46 850 9209 Skype: helcom23E-mail: manuel.frias(at) Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary of Maritime, Response, and Maritime spatial planning HELCOM Tel:  +358 46 8509199 Skype: helcom02 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fiJohanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

New approaches for sharing and creating data on maritime spatial planning have been discussed in a targeted session today in Riga, Latvia.