Earlier this year, HELCOM joined a new initiative aimed at easing the lives of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) planners, while supporting sustainable use of human and natural capital in the Baltic Sea Region. The EU-funded Baltic Sea2Land project focuses on addressing the complexity of land-sea interactions and the overlapping jurisdictions of various public authorities, necessitating multi-level governance.
Manuel Frias, who coordinates the project at HELCOM, explains the project’s goal with a metaphor: “Public authorities, together with Sustainable Blue Economy sectors such as fishery and tourism, can be likened to a sailing boat, where the many stakeholders act as the ship’s crew. They must collaborate effectively to avoid collisions and navigate towards their intended destination. To ensure smooth sailing through these stormy land-sea interaction waters, a guiding system, a navigator, is required.”
The key output of the project is the Sea2Land Navigator, a tailored platform providing guidance and decision-making support for public authorities and Sustainable Blue Economy stakeholders, particularly MSP planners at various levels and competences.
“Land-sea interactions in Maritime Spatial Planning are difficult to grasp. We are designing a decision-making tool that will make the life of an MSP planner easier”, Frias says.
Led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, the project has 13 partners and six associated organisations from six countries in the Baltic Sea Region, including ministries, regional planning authorities, representatives of cities, and NGOs, and international actors. HELCOM takes the lead in two activities, which focus on coordinating the design and development of the Sea2Land Navigator.
Funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. HELCOM’s share of the 3.45 million € budget is 267.500€.
Find out more about the project here.