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Planning Authority to partner regional agencies in €2 million maritime spatial project

The Planning Authority has joined 14 other regional agencies to carry out a €2 million project on maritime spatial planning

Jeanelle MIfsud
12 January 2017, 10:55am
The project will support the implementation of the directive on maritime spatial planning
The project will support the implementation of the directive on maritime spatial planning
The Planning Authority has joined regional agencies to carry out a €2 million project on maritime spatial planning.

Selected by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), the project, entitled ‘Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Western Mediterranean Region’ (SIMWESTMED), is being led by the French hydrographic services SHOM, in partnership with 14 other regional partners.

The project will be funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

According to a statement by the Planning Authority, SIMWESTMED will support the implementation of the directive on maritime spatial planning in the marine waters of EU member states. It will also carry out concrete, cross-border cooperation initiatives between member states in the western Mediterranean region and representatives from the Committee for Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and those responsible for Integrated Coastal Zone Management within the Mediterranean Action Plan, organised by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Mediterranean Action Plan is a regional cooperative effort involving 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, aimed at meeting the challenges of protecting the marine and coastal environment while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.

The Planning Authority’s participation in the project is expected to, among other things, build capacity to implement MSP effectively, Michelle Borg, manager for the Green and Blue Development Unit within the Planning Authority, said. She listed also assistance to identify and develop mechanisms for transboundary co-operation, and support of national efforts for policy development, decision making, data management and sharing as benefits of partnering in the project.

“Our interest as a joint partner in the SIMWESTMED project is particularly linked with our responsibility as national Competent Authority for MSP to  improve our understanding of current and potential future demands on maritime space and resources within the Mediterranean,” she said.

Borg added that the project is a unique opportunity for the Planning Authority to broaden its knowledge and expertise in maritime spatial planning “with a view to explore the spatial demands and future trends for maritime sectors and marine conservation.”

“It will also aid the development of tools and methods to support the MSP process with stakeholder engagement at the local level. The outcome of this project is expected to provide another successful milestone in the Planning Authority’s work towards sustainable development.”  

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