Transmasp - Transboundary maritime spatial planning


From a public law and policy perspective, the TransMasp (Transboundary Maritime Spatial Planning) project will explore the impact of legal and natural boundaries in the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning which is a tool to integrate sea use management.

Despite of a strong request from International and European Union policy documents, transboundary aspects of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) as well as its articulation with Land Spatial Planning are not yet scientifically handled. TransMasp will analyse a case study: the French-Belgian marine and coastal zone boundary (the Nord-Pas-de-Calais French region and the Belgian coastline). In this area, both countries share the same sandbanks, its rich biodiversity and substantial human activities (maritime transport, tourism, fisheries...). The case site is divided by the sea-land natural boundary and the French-Belgian legal boundary. Analysing it, TransMasp will investigate opportunities and constraints to develop a common Maritime Spatial Planning for a particular transboundary area. It will test the potential of Maritime Spatial Planning to ensure an effective ecosystem management across boundaries.

Theoretically, this research work will further contribute to the understanding and development of the concept of Maritime Spatial Planning, its relation with Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Ecosystem Approach. It will combine those three theories in order to confront a fundamental question: how to keep sea use management coherent in a transboundary context?

TransMaSP is a post doctoral project funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship Grant (Intra-European Fellowships for career development (IEF).
Through the French Belgian frontier case study, TransMasp aims to analyse the impact of natural border (Land/Sea) and political border (French/Belgian) on the implementation of MSP throught:
    •    the exploration of the added values and constraints of co-operation between two states to implement MSP;
    •    the analysis of the right articulation between MSP and its potential link with ICZM in a transboundary context;
    •    the analysis of how MSP can allow an improved management of existing and new uses of the sea (e.g. wind farms, aquaculture, coastal fisheries management ...);
    •    the understanding of how MSP can contribute to the prevention or management of user conflicts, analysing how public participation does work in a MSP transboundary context.

The analysis of a case study : the region of Nord Pas-de-Calais in France and the coastline of Belgium (65 km) where both countries share the same sandbanks including the same species diversity. This area (coast up to exclusive economic zone) will be explored as an example of an area with potentials for a common spatial management. Many common activities (fisheries, maritime transport...) and numbers of issues (conservation, economic development...) are involved in this zone which should benefit from a transboundary management. This analysis will be conducted through:
    •    Desk research
    •    Qualitative interviews:
    ◦    Key administrations in charge of MSP and ICZM;
    ◦    Local policy makers;
    ◦    Representatives of private stakeholders (fisheries, sand and gravel exploitation, shipping, offshore wind farms, tourism...) and representatives of environmental NGO's (Natuurpunt, WWF...).
    •    A Guidance Committee will be set up. It will ensure both intersectoral and pluridisciplinary enlightenment to the research work in order to allow the most appropriate research evolution. It will be composed of key stakeholders (fishermen, administrations, NGOs) and scientists from various interested disciplines (marine biologists, economists and geographers) from both side of the French - Belgian boundary.
    •    Analysis of results specially:
    ◦    the analysis the link between ICZM and MSP in Europe based on an ecosystem approach;
    ◦    the exploration the potentials and difficulties of MSP in a transboundary context through public participation and fisheries;
    ◦    Theoretical question of a MSP transboundary approach.
Scientific publications, reports, presentations elaborated in the framework of this project:
    •    "Planification spatiale maritime : perspectives transfrontalières" - Présentation lors du 2° forum Manche - Mer du Nord: Gestion transfrontalière du détroit du Pas de Calais : promouvoir une ambition de développement durable Boulogne 3 - 4 Novembre 2010.
    •    Présentation lors de la première réunion du comité de suivi de TransMaSP en France, 4 novembre 2010 Calais
    •    Presentation first TransMaSP Guidance Committee in Belgium, 9 December 2010, Ghent



Name Role Start End
Maritime Institute member

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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