General description of the actions

General Objectives

The objective of the project is to support the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in EU Member States within their marine waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean and Levantine Seas (Key objective 1) and to launch and carry out concrete, cross-border MSP cooperation initiatives between Member States in the Eastern Mediterranean (Key objective 2).

In order to achieve these objectives, it is essential to underline that the project involves competent authorities in charge of MSP, as designated by the Governs of four Members States (out of five present in the area), and the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention. In addition, the project activities will be performed in collaboration with other relevant authorities in the field of MSP, such as the regional authorities (NUTS 2).

Cooperation is a key issue for Maritime Spatial Planning. It is a guiding principle of EC’s Roadmap for MSP (COM(2008)791 final) and the Art.11.1 of the MSP Directive (2014/89/EU) states that “Member States bordering marine waters shall cooperate with the aim of ensuring that maritime spatial plans are coherent and coordinated across the marine region concerned. Such cooperation shall take into account, in particular, issues of a transnational nature.”

Cooperation among countries within MSP could be considered difficult to reach, due to cultural, social, policy and governance differences, including the non- membership in the European Union of some countries. However, for the Adriatic-Ionian Sea the cross-border cooperation is already framed into the macroregional Adriatic and Ionian Region Strategy – EUSAIR as in the EC Communication COM(2014)357 final and the related Action Plan SWD(2014)190 final, that create the bases for a cooperative effort to implement MSP in an Adriatic-Ionian basin perspective. In this area, a fruitful crossborder MSP exercise has been developed in the ADRIPLAN pilot project, co-funded by DG-MARE. Other initiatives and projects have been launched in the recent years in the Aegean and Levantine seas (e.g. MARISCA and PROTOMEDEA). In addition, there is more than 40 years of ongoing regional cooperation on environmental matters under the auspices of UNEP MAP/Barcelona Convention.

 

Considering the need of a Mediterranean dialogue, SUPREME will promote a continuous interaction with the twin project on the Western Mediterranean, in order to share approaches, experiences and results and to promote joint events, as useful.

 

Specific Objectives

Based on the above general objectives, the specific objectives of the project are, in particular:

 

SUPREME Specific Objectives

Indicators

1.      To inform awareness and understanding of the range of factors and uses potentially impacting on the marine area within the Eastern Mediterranean area, their potential cumulative impact on the environment and projected future trends.

Production of a description of human activities (both present and predictable future) and ecosystem components assessed and analysed, including high quality maps and cumulative impact assessment.

2.      To identify spatial demands for maritime sectors at basin and marine waters scales and measures to reduce conflicts and promote synergies, including multi-use of marine areas, under an ecosystem-based approach.

Production of a description of human activities (both present and predictable future) and ecosystem components assessed and analysed, including high quality maps, cumulative impact and analysis of coexistence assessment. Delivery of high quality recommendations for set-up of coordination procedures and processes for Maritime Spatial Planning in the cross-border area(s).

 

3.      To identify and address important data gaps and support the coherence of data analysis across marine area boundaries, promoting  data sharing and joint use of data through existing portals (e.g. EMODnet, ADRIPLAN, etc.), with emphasis on transboundary areas and issues.

Improved exchange of data and enhanced interoperability of marine spatial data mechanisms. 

Delivery of proposals and recommendation on a lasting mechanism to exchange information between Member States.

4.      To explore the potential spatial requirements for marine conservation; specifically the challenges around transboundary working.

Description of current and potential marine protected areas and their connection with other maritime uses.

5.      To promote mechanisms for transboundary cooperation on MSP implementation, involving all relevant stakeholders in the planning and, in perspective, the management phase.

Involvement of relevant stakeholders / stakeholder groups.

Description of specific needs and challenges of the MSP process in the cross-border area(s).

Set-up of consistent and lasting mechanism to ensure cross-border planning at sea basin level.

6.      To promote the coherent implementation of MSP and ICZM under the Barcelona Convention Strategies and Protocols and the consistent application of the ecosystem approach, both on regional/sub-regional level.

Description of experience and best practice in applying the requirements of the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and their connection with the Barcelona Convention Strategies and Protocols, especially ICZM Protocol and the EcAp process.

7.      To address concretely MSP local and transboundary issues in selected case studies areas, anticipating and supporting the development of national plans. 

Accurate description of the methodology and the procedural steps followed within the

development of  MSP to effectively address cross-border issues.

Delivery of high quality recommendations for set-up of coordination procedures and processes for Maritime Spatial Planning in the cross-border area(s).

Delivery of a model test case of the function and usefulness of a maritime spatial plan in the cross-border area(s) with involvement of relevant ministries/authorities.