Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management
The European Commission released a proposal for a Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Directive in March 2013, under its Integrated Maritime Policy. MSP and ICM should guide human use of the sea and coasts, in order to achieve long-term sustainable development at the same time as minimising conflict and ensuring that marine ecosystems are protected. They focus on marine and coastal waters under national jurisdiction.
BirdLife supports MSP and ICM as tools to ensure that marine ecosystems, and their component habitats and species, are fully considered in decisions that affect the use of coastal and marine space. This would be a considerable improvement on the traditional ad-hoc and unsustainable sectoral approach to marine management, which has led to over-exploitation of marine resources and significant environmental decline. The health of the marine environment must be a fundamental consideration for all decision-making, and planning must be coordinated and coherent across boundaries.
However, planning must not encourage development at any costs. As part of this, a requirement for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is particularly crucial, to ensure that environmental impacts, in particular “cumulative” or “in-combination” impacts are assessed.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.