Maritime spatial planning for Ireland takes a step closer this year thanks to an EU directive first adopted in 2014. The directive obliges all coastal Member States to establish maritime spatial plans by 2021. Member States, including Ireland, must transpose the Directive into national law by 18th September 2016. The Goverment is seeking submissions but the deadline is less than a month away.
Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is a new way of looking at how we use the marine area and planning how best to use it into the future. Marine industry activists have long argued the lack of ability to licence the oceans that surround us has been the biggest obstable to developing the 'blue economy' for Ireland.
MSP will try to balance the different demands for using the sea including the need to protect the marine environment. It's about planning when and where human activities take place at sea. It’s about ensuring these activities are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Maritime spatial planning involves stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities.
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has drafted regulations intended for Irish law and it is inviting submissions on the draft regulations. To assist the Dept has prepared a guidance document showing the relationship between the articles of the Directive and the regulations. More details here
The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm on Friday, 6 May 2016
Draft regulations are attached below
Meanwhile, the sixth conference of the MSP stakeholder series, focusing on MSP Worldwide has been postponed. The conference is now confirmed to be held on 23 - 24 June 2016 at the University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Azores.
According to the organisers, the conference will present experiences, opportunities and challenges of MSP implementation around the world. In particular it will look at how MSP can advance Blue Growth world-wide, its potential to promote climate change solutions, as well as at the role of area-based management regimes in international waters. The main purpose is to take stock of what is being done at international level and identify potential synergies as well as possible contributions from European MSP processes.