Supporting transboundary dialogue on Marine Spatial Planning towards a sustainable blue economy for the Western Mediterranean

Published: 06 August 2021
Last edited: 02 November 2021
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This solution is part of the MSPglobal Initiative, designed to support the “Joint Roadmap to accelerate Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide (MSProadmap)”, adopted by IOC-UNESCO and the European Commission and in line with the SDG 14 of the 2030 Agenda.


More specifically, this solution aimed to assist its beneficiary countries in generating approaches, tools and actions at transboundary level to contribute to coherent MSP plans in the Western Mediterranean. 


The Western Mediterranean is under intense pressures deriving from increasing coastal development and maritime activities. Therefore, MSP and sustainable blue economy are crucial policies to address these challenges. Institutional capacities were reinforced, technical tools were developed, and transboundary dialogue was coordinated, resulting in a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and sustainable blue economy.


MSPglobal was co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union.


North Africa
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Deep sea
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Open sea
Rocky reef / Rocky shore
Salt marsh
Seamount / Ocean ridge
Coastal and marine spatial management
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Ecosystem services
Fisheries and aquaculture
Legal & policy frameworks
Outreach & communications
Sustainable livelihoods
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals




  • Increasing number of maritime uses and conflicts 

  • Increasing need and demand to improve coastal and marine conservation 

  • Lack of policies on MSP and/or sustainable blue economy in some of the beneficiary countries

  • Lack of capacity on MSP among some governmental institutions and other stakeholders

  • Lack of regional coordination between EU and non-EU Member States towards coherent MSP plans across maritime borders


  • Representatives of governmental institutions involved in institutional discussions about MSP from the 7 beneficiary countries

  • Other stakeholders (e.g., maritime users and researchers) that had the opportunity to engage in capacity development activities

How do the building blocks interact?

The key objectives of this solution were to “strengthen stakeholders’ capacities” (BB2) on MSP and sustainable blue economy in the four beneficiary countries, as well as to “support the development of institutional recommendations at regional scale” (BB6). In order to support the transboundary dialogue from a technical perspective, reports on “current conditions of the marine environment and maritime uses” (BB3) and “scenarios for MSP and sustainable blue economy” (BB4) were developed. Based on this, it was decided to “showcase the key results through a simplified and interactive storytelling tool” (BB5), easily accessible and understood by stakeholders. Everything was done based on engagement activities that required adequate “planning, reporting and monitoring stakeholder participation and communication” (BB1).


  • Increased awareness among different stakeholders about the relevance of marine policies such as MSP and sustainable blue economy

  • Increased stakeholders’ capacities to develop and implement MSP plans and sustainable blue economy strategies at national level

  • Knowledge-based transboundary dialogue built on technical tools (reports and user-friendly storytelling tool) 

  • Agreed regional recommendations on MSP and sustainable blue economy

Contributed by

mspglobal.comm_40664's picture

MSPglobal Initiative Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Other contributors

MSPglobal Initiative