Between September and December 2020, seven beneficiary countries of the MSPglobal Initiative in the West Mediterranean and Southeast Pacific organized national meetings on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy to provide a national overview of their application and to continue discussions on the development and implementation of strategic perspectives at national and regional levels.
Morocco – 23 September 2020:
The Department of Maritime Fisheries of the Government of Morocco, in its capacity as MSPglobal National Focal Point (NFP), dedicated its face-to-face meeting in Rabat to maritime authorities and sectors in order to discuss the status and opportunities that MSP can bring at national level, in line with current national policies. The event was a good opportunity to discuss the strategic perspectives of MSP implementation at national level in support of Morocco’s Sustainable Blue Economy strategy as well as the country’s presence in the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean regions.
Panama – 29 October 2020:
The Ministry of Environment of Panama, with the support of IOC-UNESCO and the Government Offices of Sweden, organized an online national meeting for 30 actors engaged in MSP and Blue Economy, including transboundary initiatives such as MSPglobal (for the Southeast Pacific countries) and the GEF PaCA Project (for the countries sharing the Pacific Central American Coastal Large Marine Ecosystem). The country is building a new National Ocean Policy based on four pillars: 1) biodiversity and marine resources; 2) maritime governance and security; 3) Blue Economy and logistics; and 4) science, technology and innovation. This policy is expected to be presented during the next Our Ocean Conference, which will take place in Panama. Based on the presentations of the invited experts, national recommendations were drafted to support the country’s inputs to a potential regional roadmap for the Southeast Pacific.
Peru – 18 November 2020:
The MSPglobal and IOC-UNESCO NFP in Peru, the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of the Peruvian Navy (DIHIDRONAV), led an online meeting with representatives of the national institutions engaged in the MSPglobal Initiative to present the status of the project as well as to discuss national recommendations towards a potential regional roadmap for the Southeast Pacific, which is expected to be developed using the transboundary pilot case of the Gulf of Guayaquil (shared by Peru and Ecuador) as an example for the region. Among the recommendations provided, the stakeholders suggested a greater involvement of private sectors, which is in line with the plans of the MSPglobal Team for the activities to be implemented in 2021, such as training courses for representatives of maritime sectors.
Algeria – 1 December 2020:
The MSPglobal NFP in Algeria organized an online seminar for national experts and officials on the benefits of MSP in strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the country’s different maritime sectors and to reinforce the economic, social and environmental objectives of the Blue Economy. National experts underlined the importance of the connections between the Blue Economy and the management of coastal areas, as well as the specific role of two essential sectors for the country, namely maritime transport and the management of fisheries resources, which provided valuable inputs to the discussion for the definition of recommendations.
France – 2 December 2020:
The Ministry of the Sea, as the NFP of MSPglobal in France, together with the General Secretariat for the Sea, organized an online national event to promote exchange between strategic planners and the scientific community. Participants were invited to share the work in progress and examine the means available to help establish a scientific and technical network for the strategic planning of the sea and coasts and the promotion of a mutual and beneficial relationship between science and public policy.
Colombia – 2-3 December 2020:
A hybrid event was organized face-to-face in the city of Barranquilla by the General Maritime Directorate (DIMAR) as MSPglobal NFP and IOC-UNESCO, with representatives from more than 10 different governmental institutions participating online, to showcase the contributions of each institution to the national processes of MSP in Colombia. It was an opportunity to discuss how to integrate their respective actions within the context of the National Technical Committee for the Comprehensive Management of the Coastal and Marine Territory. Moreover, based on the expertise gained through the different initiatives presented, the stakeholders developed recommendations for a potential roadmap for MSP and Blue Economy in the Southeast Pacific region. The Colombian Ocean Commission (IOC-UNESCO NFP) highlighted the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) as a common framework to develop the scientific capacity and knowledge to contribute to the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Italy – 15 December 2020:
The online national event in Italy was jointly organized by the National Research Council-Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR) as MSPglobal NFP , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport as well as the Italian Oceanographic Commission to discuss and propose recommendations for a roadmap on the promotion of transboundary MSP to support the development of the Sustainable Blue Economy in the Western Mediterranean. Representatives from 5 national ministries and 15 regions expressed their views and recommendations according to their sectoral interest and institutional competences.