UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission continue the implementation of their Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide (#OceanAction15346). In line with the priority action dedicated to transboundary marine spatial planning, the European Commission invited the IOC to apply in 2018 for an ad-hoc grant in the context of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to develop internationally accepted guidelines for MSP, including transboundary projects in the Western Mediterranean and the Southeast Pacific and communication activities to support the Joint Roadmap.
The project proposal for MSPglobal presented by the IOC to the European Commission was accepted, receiving financial support up to 80% (1.400.000 EUR) of the total budget (1.750.000 EUR). The initiative started in November 2018 and the opening ceremony took place in Paris (France) in February 2019, with the participation of more than 100 participants from 59 different countries.
Another priority area of the Joint Roadmap on MSP is dedicated to capacity building, both training for planners around the world and the specific pilots to build capacity building on MSP linked with the local communities of the pilot case study of the MSPglobal project in the Southeast Pacific.
Together, the European Commission and IOC organized the first edition of the International MSP Forum in Brussels (Belgium) in May 2018. 150 planners from all across the globe gathered together to discuss issues related to planning at sea and brainstormed ahead of the internationally accepted guidelines for marine/maritime spatial planning. The second edition took place in March 2019 on the island of La Réunion (France) and the third edition in Vigo (Spain). The next MSPforum will take place in Riga (Latvia) in November 2019.
Trainings and seminars have been jointly organized by the IOC and European Commission in the context of the Joint Roadmap in Marrakech (Morocco), Nairobi (Kenya), Hanoi (Viet Nam), Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan), Zagreb (Croatia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Dedicated sessions on marine spatial planning and blue economy were also organized during the European Maritime Day in Lisbon (Portugal) in May 2019. The Government of the Netherlands, the Government Offices of Sweden, the Government of Turkmenistan, the Government of Argentina, the Government of Viet Nam, PAP/RAC, the Permanent Commission of the Southeast Pacific and the Global Environmental Facility provided support to the Joint Roadmap.