February 14, 2019

IOC-UNESCO, EC Launch MSPglobal, Contribute to SDG 14

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission (EC) launched MSPglobal, a maritime spatial planning project. The three-year project aims to develop international guidelines on maritime spatial planning and support regulation of activities in coastal and marine waters as a contribution to achieving ocean governance goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

MSPglobal is one of nine actions of the ‘Joint Roadmap to Accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning Processes Worldwide’ between IOC-UNESCO and the EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The Roadmap aims to contribute to tripling the area of territorial waters that benefit from an effectively implemented MSP system, as part of the agencies’ commitment to achieve SDG 14 (life below water) and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The EC and IOC-UNESCO submitted the Roadmap as part of a joint voluntary commitment to the High-Level UN Conference to Support Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) in June 2017.

UNESCO and the EC launched MSPglobal at a launch conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, which convened from 11-12 February. The conference aimed to take stock of existing experiences and challenges in maritime spatial planning. Participants also discussed the application of MSP in cross-border and transboundary situations, including the need to promote MSP processes in areas where it is yet to be put in place.

MSPglobal will implement two pilot projects to strengthen local authorities’ data management capacities and create a repository of data, decision-making tools and knowledge for MSP. The first project will focus on Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia (the Western Mediterranean) and the second will work in Ecuador and Peru (the Southeast Pacific). Parallel training activities will benefit participants from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Libya, Mauritania, Peru and Portugal.

The EC provides financial support to the cross-border MSP initiative through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).