C1.1.1 Develop a basin scale analysis strongly MSP oriented

Capitalizing the results obtained in previous projects, this sub-component will develop a comprehensive framework about relevant MSP issues in the Eastern Mediterranean area. This initial analysis will consider relevant characteristics of the area including: the marine environment; maritime activities and key sectoral and socio-economic trends; emerging pressures and conflicts in the use of maritime space; legal framework and related issues, governance structure. The analysis will be developed starting from gathering existing knowledge and experiences, and will consider the Barcelona Convention, its relevant Protocols, processes, such as the ICZM Protocol and the Ecosystem Approach, the present implementation of the MSFD, WFD, H&B Directives, SEA/EIA, CFP and other relevant policies. Existing information (and related data) will be collected in an operational way, to be immediately useful. The activity will be performed mainly on the basis of existing previous works, through the review of existing policy documents, literature and results from other projects: it will give place to a synthetic understanding on the Eastern Mediterranean area, considering planning priorities and addressing in particular cross-border critical issues and data gaps.

Outputs: Summary on the existing knowledge on the Eastern Mediterranean area in its marine aspects relevant for MSP, particularly on cross-border issues.


C1.1.2 Ensuring region-wide coherence, building on the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, processes, decisions, in relation to the definition and application of MSP in a systematic manner

The activity will be structured to reflect on the ongoing work on MSP by the Barcelona Convention, as defined in the Mid-Term Strategy 2016-2021 and Programme of Work 2016-2017 approved at COP 19 in Athens in February 2016, also aimed at the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management process and, in particular, of its Action Plan, in order to coherently elaborate on the common definition, understanding and pathway on MSP in the Eastern Mediterranean, including its southern rim. The activity will also be consistent with the CBD context, in particular with respect to AICHI Target 11, as well as with SDG 14, as cross-cutting elements also connected with the Barcelona Convention and maritime spatial planning. Some pieces of this activity might overlap with the parallel project in the Western Mediterranean area and in this case they will be performed in a synergic way.

Outputs: Recommendation and guidelines to support common understanding on a regional scale and specifically for the Eastern Mediterranean on MSP. A focus will be on transboundary issues, on available knowledge and on common starting points, taking also into account the ongoing work on MSP in the Barcelona Convention, in line with its POW and in line with the ICZM Protocol and the Ecosystem Approach process of the Barcelona Convention. Guidelines will indicate how to favour a proper integration of Barcelona Convention principles in MSP activities.


C1.1.3 Develop and propose a conceptual methodology for transboundary MSP aspects

While acknowledging various levels of implementation of the MSP Directive in different Member States, different approaches based on different experiences and organisational models, the project will consider such diversities and will properly elaborate on them, indicating possible paths towards an operational methodological coherence at basin scale. A reflection on the conceptual methodology for addressing MSP in the Eastern Mediterranean area, taking into consideration the various approaches and transboundary and cross-border issues, will be carried out. Operational aspects will be detailed on selected topics of concern. The need for a common understanding of the Ecosystem-based approach in the context of maritime spatial planning will be considered, too. The method for defining transboundary areas will take into account use of the geo-referencing tool, aimed at the identification of a geospatial-scale, appropriate and representative of the diverse needs of environmental protection, associated, as far as possible, with maritime spatial planning.

Outputs: Recommendations and guidelines on the procedural steps to follow for the development of cross-border MSP, including a common understanding of the Ecosystem-based approach.


C1.2 Development of cooperation on maritime spatial planning

To provide concrete and operational benefits to Member States along with the implementation of the MSP Directive, this activity will focus on exploring critical instances entailed in MSP process (e.g. coexistence, synergies and conflicts between sectoral activities, requirements for data and information, assessment of current and future impacts on marine areas, transboundary dimension of MSP in practice). The partners will  contribute to the identification of existing common regional, international policies, commitments, as informed by C1.1, on which the MS can build on. Spatial analysis will be used to consider current and future trends in the development of maritime sectors (according to an ecosystem-based approach), taking into account their current distribution and trends, as well as reflecting on the ecological integrity of the SUPREME area.


C1.2.1 Analysis on common objectives at sea level basin for crossborder cooperation

This sub-component will analyse a series of common objectives possibly shared at sea basin scale for cross-border cooperation, on the base of existing legal and policy documents at European, Mediterranean, Macro-regional and National scales. The objectives should address the three dimensions of sustainability: environmental/ecological, economic and socio-cultural and should reflect a common understanding of ecosystem based approach (as specified in C1.1.3). Concerning the Adriatic-Ionian Region, the objectives for the area should originate directly from the EUSAIR strategy, while some concrete suggestions will be taken from the ongoing initiatives (e.g. the 1st Forum of EUSAIR, jointly organised by the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, in Dubrovnik on 12-13 May 2016, which program includes a MSP-related session on “Reconciling conflicting interests in a shared maritime space”).

Outputs: Overview on common objectives at sea basin level, taking into account a common view of the ecosystem-based approach.


C1.2.2 Establish a mechanism for a permanent and operational networking (Regional MSP Platform) among Member States in the area

A platform will be developed to support operational networking among project partners and relevant stakeholders. It will be connected with EC Implementation Support Strategy Committees and programs (MSEG, Assistance Mechanism,...) and key R&I initiatives (e.g. BLUEMED, JPI Oceans). It will be coherent with Barcelona Convention Protocols and initiatives and with the regional information and existing data-sharing platforms.

The Platform is intended as a supporting service that will establish mechanisms for knowledge co-production (through brokerage, twinning, exchange of best practices, knowledge, tools, experiences, etc.) and capacity building. Interoperability between SUPREME platform, any possible similar initiative in the West Med project and other relevant platforms will be ensured through services compliant with applicable European standards (e.g. INSPIRE technical requirements for geospatial data).

The Platform can be used in order to establish proper mechanisms to involve key stakeholders on transnational MSP issues, and to identify suitable enforceability paths for MSP in consideration of transboundary issues and concerns coherently at basin level and on the case study areas.

The Platform will take into account the ongoing work on the infoMAP Platform developed by INFO/RAC and possible connections and collaborations with other existing platforms/portals in the areas. This development will take into due consideration the progress and results coming from the Copernicus research programme based on the Earth Observation System; at this end, appropriate links would be established with relevant Copernicus services, if considered useful for the aim of the project.

Outputs: SUPREME cooperation platform and connected analysis of networking instruments.


C1.3 Support for Member States' implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning

The analysis of C1.3 is focused on the domain of national marine waters, including the continental shelf. It will consider, in each of the participating MS, the actual national priorities in setting up the MSP process, depending on national objectives and understanding of the contextual national and International framework, concentrating on the most critical issues. Activities at national scale could be related to: stakeholders mapping and engagement; data gathering and management; national MSP initial assessment to identify MSP priorities; cost-benefit analysis; analysis of the relations with other policy implementation processes (e.g. the more advanced MSFD implementation process, in particular the Programme of Measures; CFP; H&B Directives; Renewable Energy Directive, etc.); governance issues and responsibility on marine spaces, administrative organization related to the MSP process implementation, as well as the Barcelona Convention and relevant international ocean governance issues.


C1.3.1 Spatial demands, future trends for maritime sectors and related cumulative impacts

The objective of this sub-component is to evaluate the current and potential future trends of maritime sectors and related spatial demands, considering related cumulative impact analysis, in a “Blue Growth” scenario. The consideration of any possible economic benefits from the co-existence of multiple economic activities will be included in the analysis in addition to the environmental sustainability evaluated through evaluation of their cumulative environmental impact.

The analysis of current and potential future trends of development of maritime sectors will be composed starting from i) existing policy documents at national level and ii) existing studies and reports on related topics (including regional policy papers, studies of UNEP MAP). Specific workshops with national authorities, economic actors and relevant stakeholders will elaborate on this re-collected information. When possible, such information will be characterized for the spatial dimension it entails.

To assess environmental implications of the development of maritime sectors, a model based on cumulative impacts analysis will be put in place. Current and future trends will be considered in relation to threats and pressures on different environmental components and biodiversity assets at marine waters and case study area scale. Moreover, specific attention will be devoted to existing and possible new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Information on species and habitats will be recollected, in relation to Barcelona protocol and related database, to inform cumulative impacts assessment and possible formulation of new MPAs.  With respect to cumulative impacts, the assessment will be performed considering a model that puts the future trends of maritime sectors (in selected areas) in relation to the main environmental components.

The definition of Fisheries Restricted Areas (FRAs), the identification of which might also be supportive for the implementation of the ecosystem approach and for the development of area-based conservation measures, is another important element linked to conservation demand that will be taken into account.

Outputs: Report on trends on maritime sectors, considering current state and potential future spatial requirements, based on the best available spatial information. Potential cumulative impacts will be reported, too.


C1.3.2 Data and information requirements for MSP

The objective of this component is to support access to and use of maritime spatial data, carrying out an analysis of data needs and existing data gaps. This action will consider the data and information requirements for MSP, specifically the challenges in cross-border integration and transboundary interoperability. The action will consider existing data availability, platforms and infrastructures, which can be extended and optimized within the Eastern Mediterranean. Data availability, data collection obligations and activities under the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment programme of the Barcelona Convention and data exchange represent a key aspect to support the setting and implementation of MSP processes, even in relation to monitoring and evaluation.

A Marine Spatial Data Portal (MSDP), responding to the international quality protocols, is the key asset to support data management and exchange. The MSDP is intended to support data sharing to inform transboundary cooperation as well as national efforts in relation to MSP, to integrate analysis and planning activities on different selected areas. The MSDP represents the interoperability platform to share with the public and with all interested parties, as well as to recollect required information in order to inform decision making.


SUPREME will adopt existing spatial data portals to optimize and adapt on the Eastern Mediterranean needs. The following tasks will be undertaken:

  1. Assess the data needs arising from initial assessment and identify to what extent these can be currently met and where gaps needs to be addressed;
  2. Identify barriers to data access and exchange (e.g. in relation to data ownership or data protection) and analyse existing data policies;
  3. Address data gaps in relation with complementary projects and initiatives to support interaction and data exchange;
  4. Define the steps to be considered when establishing an interoperable MSDP, to reflect on baseline information and maritime boundaries, maritime activities and regulated areas in a cross-border perspective. The analysis will considered existing data portals (e.g. ADRIPLAN, UNEP-MAP, EMODnet data portals);
  5. Assess of metadata and data semantics between countries in relation to possible transboundary interactions;
  6. Consider the integration of tools on cumulative impacts and coexistence between uses at basin scale, to support scenario analysis and constrains when implementing MSP;
  7. Organize training seminars between stakeholders to become familiar with data needs and requirements in MSP, in relation to the elaboration of thematic charts, related analysis and elaboration of planning maps and related materials. The activity will involve the transfer of knowledge to existing portals and existing data management centres.


Outputs: Report including: i) the analysis of data needs and existing data gaps in relation  to a transboundary perspective on MSP in the Eastern Mediterranean; ii) barriers in overcoming data gaps and reach interoperability; iii) identification of a series of actions to be taken to overcome data gaps; iv) guidelines for data management and interoperability; v) analysis of existing data portals and swot analysis for implementing interoperability; vi) analysis of existing data policies and proposed best practices to improve data exchange and reuse.


C1.3.3 Tools and methods supporting MSP process

The objective is to provide the best understanding of interactions between different maritime activities and between the maritime activities and the marine environment. This sub-component will adapt and test tools designed in order to support MSP processes, providing assessments of main conflicts to be addressed, improving stakeholders and decision makers understanding of the spatial distribution of the main issues. The tools will be possibly integrated within existing marine spatial data portals. 

Tools and methods to support the MSP process, should take into account the need to connect Maritime Spatial Planning with the assessment of cumulative impacts on areas. In line with C1.1. and C1.3.1, geo-referencing and functional tools to support the definition, the analysis of condition and  the size of marine areas will be applied.

Possible tools to be integrated will be related to: i) the analysis of coexistence between uses: ii) cumulative impacts related to maritime sectors (in relation to component 1.3.1); iii) the optimal location of uses (i.e. fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, protected areas) and multi-use of areas. Existing tools will be analysed to consider opportunities and barriers in integration within existing data portals, and possible integration to support MSP processes. Interoperability of tools within the basin and in relation to different selected areas will be considered to evaluate potential benefits at basin scale.

Outputs: Report including: i) the analysis of existing tools to support MSP process, ii) barriers and opportunities in the interoperability of tools, iii) data needs at different scales, to support the operationalization of MSP in Member States, iv) testing tools in selected areas to demonstrate data needs and integration method to inform MSP process.


C1.3.4 Stakeholders involvement and participation

This sub-component will focus on identifying approaches of stakeholder involvement in the context of MSP implementation. The work will build on the actual experiences of partners to date, as well as it will consider a wide range of other sea-users and interest groups, to confirm the existence and the severity of the main challenges in achieving an effective stakeholder involvement (e.g. sector specific, measuring impact, consultation processes, cost-effectiveness). These approaches will be also tested in the case studies listed below in the sub-component C.1.3.8.

In order to establish a common understanding of the main issues and possible solutions, the activity will include two workshops, with the participation of partners, as well as of selected stakeholders from the case study areas: one at the beginning of the project to introduce the MSP process and methods to be applied within the project (in particular at the level of case study areas), and one in the middle of the project for their fine-tuning. 

Output: Report on potential approaches and mechanisms for stakeholder engagement on MSP and the evaluation of the outcome of stakeholder involvement in the pilot areas.


C1.3.5 Definition of the most appropriate geographical scale for MSP plans at national scale

Specific aims of this activity are: i) to support MS in defining the number of plans to be developed and their boundaries; ii) to promote the use of similar criteria among MS for harmonized results beyond administrative boundaries; iii) to take into account transboundary issues in defining plan boundaries. A general reflection on strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats of establishing the geographical scope of MSP will be produced, also on the basis of the work undertaken under other relevant policy instruments. Management boundaries of case study areas will be defined and verified with National Authorities.

Outputs: Recommendations on the most appropriate geographical scale for MSP plans in MS marine waters.


C1.3.6. Coordination of sectorial policies

Specific aims of this activity is to analyse relationship and coordination among relevant policy instruments (e.g. MSFD, WFD, H&B Directives and Biodiversity Strategy, CFP, ICZM Protocol and other relevant Protocols, Decisions under Barcelona Convention, etc.), in order to promote an effective common implementation, in line with the ecosystem approach.

Outputs: Recommendations for a synergic implementation of the regionally relevant policy instruments supporting the MSP implementation.


C1.3.7. Land – sea interactions and relationships with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

Actions included in this component are oriented to promote integration between ICZM and MSP, analysing and addressing the connection between land and sea areas, in order to investigate how to propose coherent land and sea use planning frameworks, able to support the synergetic implementation of MSP Directive and ICZM Protocol. The work will consider in particular the selected case studies. The objective is to understand the ecological features, as well as the socio economic linkages and connectivity between ecosystems and human activities in the coastal and marine areas.

Output: Recommendation on how to perform a correct analysis of land- sea interactions, combining MSP and ICM in the considered project area, starting from the case study areas.


C1.3.8 Addressing MSP Implementation in Case Study Areas

The objective of this sub-component is to undertake case studies that illustrate how the challenges to MSP implementation can be addressed, as expressed also in the other sub-components.

Activities proposed on the “Case Study Areas” are the following:

  • Detailed analysis of legal and planning status, maritime uses, ecosystem components;
  • Definition of main MSP needs and challenges and their added value for the maritime economy and for the environment on the national domain;
  • Focus on the transboundary MSP issues in the area;
  • Mapping of key stakeholder and their involvement in the analysis and proposal phase;
  • Vision and management objectives;
  • Addressing MSP solutions, that will be part of the national spatial plans to be developed.

A specific reflection on strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threat, as well as barriers and bottlenecks of considering planning and management of maritime uses through an EBA on the selected geographical domain will be produced per each case study area, and verified with the competent National Authorities. The case study areas are preliminarily listed below, but they will be revised and better defined in more details by the Steering Committee during the initial assessment (C1.1).


Case Study #1 : Northern Adriatic (Italy)

The area of analysis is represented by the Northern Adriatic Sea Italian marine waters up to the midline, along the coasts from Emilia Romagna to Veneto up to Friuli Venezia Giulia Regions. This area is part of the widest continental shelf in the Mediterranean, characterized also by high water quality and biodiversity ecosystems with sensitive marine habitats (i.e. Maerl bed, Coralligenous communities). The area is currently intensively crowded by several maritime uses, most of them exercised in a cross-border dimension: coastal and maritime tourism (the main socio-economic driver of that area), oil and gas exploration and exploitation, transport of good and passengers and relative expansion of major ports (i.e. Ravenna, Trieste and construction of the Venice Offshore Terminal), sand extractions, fisheries and aquaculture, energy and communication cables, military uses, cultural heritage and protected areas (MPAs, Natura 2000 sites and Biological Protection zones). These activities are expected to grow over the next years, resulting in increase of conflicts and pressures on the environment, affecting also the adjacent transboundary areas. MSP is required in order to minimize conflicts: i.e. oil and gas exploitation with small-scale fishery, Ravenna port infrastructure developments and expansion, which may lead to increase traffic congestion, Trieste port development with mussel farms activities, sand extraction and military areas with fishery and tourism, spawning and nursery areas with the construction of the offshore Venice Terminal and the relative intensification of new routes. MSP will also maximize coexistence and synergies among the uses, promoting the Blue Growth of the area, while reducing the impacts on the environment on the basis of the ecosystem-based approach. This Case Study will capitalize on the results arisen from SHAPE and ADRIPLAN projects. The area of analysis here proposed has been identified as part of the northern focus area in ADRIPLAN, for which the analyses of coexistence and compatibilities among uses, cumulative impacts and socio-economic analysis have been produced, together with the identification of the planning measures arisen from stakeholders’ involvement.

The Case Study Area will also include the Emilia-Romagna sites of the CAMP Italy Project. The CAMP Italy Project, through the involvement of PAP/RAC and the National Coordination, is a useful reservoir of best practises and processes involving a number of Italian regions and Local Communities. The CAMP Italy Project – Coastal Area Management Programme - has the objective to test on selected pilot areas local policies and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) activities. In the framework of the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention for the Mediterranean Sea and of the EU Recommendation of 30 May 2002 on ICZM, CAMP activities concerns three thematic areas:

-Planning of marine and coastal areas;

-Protection, preservation and restoration of coastal and marine habitats;

-Sustainability of socio-economic stress on the coastal  zone.

Within these thematic areas three Regions - Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia and Tuscany – carry out pilot actions targeted to develop strategies and procedures for the rational exploitation of coastal resources and for the protection of the environment. The overall objective is to identify and test methodologies, tools and practices for coastal sustainable development and to promote the Italian historical and artistic heritage. The Italian project distinguishes from other National CAMPs being the first multi area CAMP project – since it covers five coastal areas in the three Regions, and three Seas (Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Adriatic), covering around 9.000 Km of linear coast, and foresees fourteen different pilot actions. The CAMP project is an essential support for enforcing, at both National and Mediterranean level, the policy in Integrated Coastal Zone management (ICZM) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), since it allows to gain experience, understand critical points and testing solutions, taking into account land-sea interactions (LSI) and promoting cooperation among Mediterranean States. The CAMP Italy Project could represent a useful reservoir of best practices and processes to be integrated in the activities foreseen by SUPREME, with particular reference to the actions concerning “planning of marine and coastal areas”. Moreover, potential synergic actions could be established through CAMP and the Regions covered between SUPREME and the parallel Western Mediterranean project.


Case Study #2 : The Dubrovnik-Neretva County

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County (NUTS III) is the southernmost part of the Adriatic Croatia with the total area of 9.272 km2 and high ratio of maritime zones to land area of 81%. The maritime zone of the County represents almost 25% of the total Croatian maritime area. The corresponding continental shelf, with an area of app. 9.350 km2 represents almost 40% of the total Croatian continental shelf area.

The region has high border/area ratio that presents itself in the long maritime EU border as well as maritime and territorial non-EU border. The land area consists of two main functional zones: a relatively narrow longitudinal coastal zone and the area of the Neretva Valley with its gravitating coastal zone. Narrow and inhomogeneous coastal zone is separated from the hinterlands by the steep mountain-massive.

A high proportion and biodiversity of its natural protected areas consist of The Mljet National Park, the oldest marine protected area in the Mediterranean, The Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park, Neretva River Delta on the RAMSAR list and The Elaphiti Islands Regional Park. The areas of ecological network Natura 2000 are stretching over 30 % of the County territory. The area is also rich in cultural heritage (e.g. Old Town of Dubrovnik is under UNESCO protection) and specific costal landscape.

Besides the common coastal issues, such as islands and their interconnectivity, inadequate developments, high touristic impact and climate changes, the region has its own characteristics and challenges.

So far the main challenges in the area are:

  • high impact of costal and maritime tourism with special regard to cruising tourism;
  • possible conflicts between various activities specially off-shore activities vs. tourism;
  • sea and costal landscape evaluation;
  • environmental quality and nature and cultural heritage preservation due to growing impacts of activities;
  • cultural heritage as the living basis for sustainable development with built-in high protection measures;
  • sustainability of development due to economic activities (fishery, marine aquaculture, tourism, off-shore, shipbuilding, port infrastructure);
  • intention to explore the potentiality of the area for hydrocarbons exploitation;
  • transport isolation within the state territory and the cross-border areas;
  • overcoming coastal discontinuity due to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • expected increase in maritime traffic (Port of Ploče represents a final portion of TEN-T Vc corridor);
  • possible Adriatic-Ionian transport corridor in the costal part of the County.


Case Study #3 Slovenian coast: MSP – ICZM interaction

Slovenian marine waters are limited. The length of the coast is 46 km. Nevertheless, the pressure on marine environment and on the coast is strong: maritime transport, fishery, aquaculture, nature and culture heritage protection, tourism and recreation. The issue of particular importance is the coastal strip, encompassing marine and terrestrial-coastal part. The state is responsible for the MSP of marine space (plus 25-m coastal strip), while municipalities are responsible for spatial planning on land. Such distribution of responsibilities often causes problems in realisation of projects in the sea, which are directly related to uses on land or the other way around (i.e. hotels, beaches and infrastructure in the sea – piers etc.). According to Article 8 of ICZM Protocol – Barcelona Convention, an area where construction is not allowed shall be established in such zones, which may not be less than 100 meters in width. SHAPE project proposed ways of its implementation in specific circumstances in Slovenia for the entire coast. It also proposed coordinated management of this land-sea area, in order to improve coordination and harmonisation of uses. It represented an opportunity to test the implementation of the ICZM Protocol in practice. 

In the framework of SUPREME project, we will develop a case study on integrated MSP-ICZM planning on selected section of slovenian coast. The pilot could be focused on:

  • Analysis of legal and planning status, maritime and coastal uses, ecosystem components, environmetal status etc,
  • Mapping of key stakeholder and their involvement in the analysis and proposal phase
  • Participatory SWOT analysis,
  • Vision and management objectives,
  • Urban design workshop: possible urban design solutions, taking in account terrestrial-marine belt,
  • Addressing MSP/coastal land use solutions, that will be part of the national spatial plans to be developed.


Case Study #4 : North-Eastern Ionian (Greece)

This case study area will be defined in details by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Greece during the inception phase of the project.


Case Study #5 : Aegean (Greece)

This case study area will be defined in details by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Greece during the inception phase of the project.

Outputs: five case study reports (analysis, recommendations for MSP implementation, land-sea interactions, transnational issues, maps produced, results of meetings with governmental bodies and with stakeholders, data and knowledge gaps, etc.).


C 1.4 Evaluation of the maritime spatial planning process

This component includes the following actions:

  • A review of literature and best practices on MSP monitoring processes, to formulate a regional customized process;
  • Design of monitoring schemes adapted (criteria, indicators, procedures, time scales, etc.) to transnational and national processes;
  • Design of monitoring schemes adapted (criteria, indicators, procedures, time scales, etc.) to the MSP Plan development phase and the deployment phase.

The evaluation in relation to monitoring schemes will pay special attention to the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme and country obligations under it.

Outputs: Recommendation for a suitable monitoring and evaluation process.