Marine Spatial Planning Initiative

The Marine Spatial Planning Initiative (MSP) was established in 2018 by the IOC and the European Commission after the publication of a joint roadmap to accelerate maritime/marine spatial planning processes worldwide. The MSP initiative states MSP is "a public process of analysing and allocating spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that are usually specified through a political process". 

The Initiative is split into MSP Global and MSP Forum, both of which feed into the MSP Roadmap. The recommendations from the roadmap have been split across the two MSP programmes. MSP Global focuses on: transboundary MSP, building a sustainable blue economy, ecosystem-based MSP and capacity building. The MSP Forum priority is to build a mutual understanding of MSP and to communicate this effectively. 

The UK has been involved in the MSP initiative in a number of ways:

  • Joseph Kofi Ansong (Ulster Univesity) is among the seven indvividuals that make up the International Expert Group of MSP Global
  • Rhona Fairgrieve (Scottish Coastal Forum) was part of the opening plenary at the first International MSP Forum
  • Rebecca Kavanagh (Orkney Islands Council) was part of the panel on sector-specific aspects with local stakeholders at the second International MSP Forum
  • Stephen Jay and Hannah Jones of the University of Liverpool contributed to the Technical Study on Maritime Spatial Planning for Blue Growth (report here)


UK Point of Contact: Joseph Kofi Ansong (Ulster University)