The careful preparations were rewarded yesterday and an important goal reached upon finalization of the for the implementation of ecosystem-based approach in maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea area. The HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group agreed on the procedurally oriented guideline which will help applying the ecosystem-based approach in MSP in practice, being also in accordance with spatial planning legislation in force in the Baltic Sea countries. This guideline fulfil, on schedule, the commitment made in the Regional Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning (2013-2020), adopted at the HELCOM 2013 Ministerial Meeting and the VASAB 2014 Ministerial Conference. The ecosystem approach has been agreed as an for MSP. The Guideline takes into account the relevant legal and policy context for the ecosystem-based approach, such as Helsinki Convention, HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the Joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Principles, applicable to all Baltic coastal states and the EU, as well key EU requirements applicable to its members. Furthermore, it lists the key elements to consider when applying the approach, such as deploying best available knowledge and practice; precaution; developing alternatives; identification of ecosystem services; and so forth. The definition of the ecosystem-based approach used in the Guideline is as follows, as adopted jointly by HELCOM-OSPAR in 2003: “the comprehensive integrated management of human activities based on the best available scientific knowledge about the ecosystem and its dynamics, in order to identify and take action on influences which are critical to the health of marine ecosystems, thereby achieving sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and maintenance of ecosystem integrity.” * * * Note for editorsThe 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. Operational since 2010, the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working has cemented its place to ensure the regional coherence of any activities related to maritime spatial planning. The group is in charge of the Horizontal Action Spatial Planning within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. HELCOM Ministerial Meeting adopted in 2013 the Regional Baltic maritime spatial planning roadmap 2013–2020. * * * For more information, please contact:Dmitry Frank-KamenetskyProfessional SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 630 9933Skype: helcom68E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fi Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
The careful preparations were rewarded yesterday and an important goal reached upon finalization of the Guideline for the implementation of ecosystem-based approach in maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea area.