Binational training highlights cross-border synergies in Marine Spatial Planning in the West Mediterranean

French and Algerian experts took part in a two-day training course on 22 and 23 January 2020 in Toulon (France), during which they benefited from each other’s experiences and explored avenues of reflection for the development of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and the Blue Economy in their respective country.

“MSP provides a medium and long-term vision and facilitates coordination of activities,” said Commissioner-General Duchesne, Deputy Maritime Prefect for the Mediterranean, during his speech.

The status and challenges of MSP at French and Algerian national level, the Mediterranean Seafront Strategy adopted in October 2019, and the national perspectives of France and Algeria on the blue economy were also presented.

French and Algerian participants – whether from government institutions and agencies in charge of planning and management of marine resources, universities and local authorities – were able to share their knowledge within the framework of the MSPglobal pilot project in the West Mediterranean.

“The importance for a municipality within the MSP process is the work that is done beforehand, that is to say the inventory of all its maritime activities, which will then make it possible for the issues of this area to be taken into consideration,” explained Raphaële Leguen, First Deputy Mayor of La Seyne-sur-Mer.

“Pushing elected officials to work on MSP means pushing them to take into consideration the needs and impacts they have on the environment. This allows for better knowledge and a different vision of the sea than just a ‘recreational’ one.”

With the support of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MSP Challenge game was used to simulate a planning process between three fictitious countries sharing the same sea basin, during which participants were asked to define the vision, objectives, indicators, actions and stakeholders for short and long-term.

“We are working on a virtual tool, yes, but we are transposing the professional realities of our countries to find the necessary trade-offs, through MSP, between the need to develop marine and maritime activities that meet social and economic demands and, at the same time, find a balance with natural resources, which are themselves the basis for the development of marine and maritime activity,” said Samir Grimes of Algeria’s Directorate General for Scientific Research and Technological Development.

Participants then shared their recommendations for the successful implementation of MSP at national and transboundary level in their country, such as more consultation with local stakeholders; awareness-raising and training programs on MSP; harmonization of legal and administrative planning standards and systems; and sharing of experiences, scientific data and know-how.

This training co-organized with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat for the Sea of France, with the support of the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition and the institutions in charge of the MSPglobal National Focal Point in Algeria. It will contribute to the development of a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and Sustainable Blue Economy in the West Mediterranean, in line with the WestMED Initiative.

Transboundary MSP
Presentation of the MSP Challenge
France – Maritime Prefecture for the Mediterranean
France – Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
France – Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea
Algeria – Blue economy, MSP, stakes and strategy

  MSPglobal pilot project in the West Mediterranean


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