The European Commission’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) recently published an interactive communication guide, developed in close cooperation between experts and communicators of the European Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and MSPglobal platforms.
The aim of the guide is to complement the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and UNESCO’s Marine Spatial Planning: A Step-by-Step Approach toward Ecosystem-based Management, which presents various examples of alternative financing mechanisms and stakeholder engagement that MSP teams can use to develop their own strategies.
Through concrete examples, Communicating MSP describes how open and engaging communication on MSP can help achieve the main objective of ensuring that the largest number of stakeholders are allowed to perform their activities in a fair, sustainable, and collaborative way.
The guide presents how MSP is highly benefitting from cooperation, communication opportunities and tools enabling knowledge exchange from a number of key initiatives, such as the MSPglobal Initiative. In this framework, the International MSPforum provides a space for participants to build on the knowledge acquired through thematic panels and technical workshops, to promote open collaboration on MSP in their own countries and, in turn, to form an engaged and active stakeholder community.
The guide also underlines the key role played by projects. For example, project MarSP is committed to the development of Maritime Spatial Planning principles in the macaronesian region (Madeira, Azores, Canary islands). Via short, inexpensive and explanatory videos, the project shows MSP stakeholders in their “natural environment” explaining what MSP is and what it means for them, with a direct and personal style appealing to a wider audience.
Communicating MSP actively contributes to advancing the Blue Economy and, ultimately, fulfils the vision of a shared maritime space for all.
Participative processes, event planning, social media, interactive screens or virtual reality can all support the coexistence between human activities and the protection of ecosystem services.