The project Baltic SCOPE received great interest from the participants while presented within the VASAB/Baltic SCOPE stand at the European Maritime Day 2016 in Turku on 18-19 May 2016.
During the event the workshop on Blue Growth using InterVision method was held which gathered a lot of participants. It gave the opportunity to exercise the participants’ mind on the hot topics of the maritime spatial planning which is stakeholder involvement and let moderators drive this process in a creative way.
The topic of the Blue Growth and stakeholder involvement in the planning process is important, as Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, highlighted in his speech at the European Maritime Day in Tuku that “the sustainable blue economy is not some dream. It is a reality – I have seen it for myself! Whether in local tourism or global shipping, aquaculture or bio-tech – people are innovating, pushing boundaries, and finding sustainable ways to boost blue growth. I am convinced that it is exactly this diversity and our drive to innovate that make us strong.”
At the exhibition in the VASAB/Baltic SCOPE booth the digital application was presented explaining the progress of the transboundary discussions going on between the national authorities involved in the project. While pushing the colourful country buttons of the first section of the tool the visitors could get the information on the status of the maritime spatial planning in each country. It provided an insight into the status of the process of the maritime spatial planning, the date of approval, if there was any and the responsible authority for the MSP process in the country. The information was complemented with the map available at this moment. Visitors enjoyed learning about their own country and others; on the other hand, the visitors who came from the countries outside Baltic Sea Region were excited to learn what happens around this region.
To illustrate the synergies between the sectors chosen within the project animation was created showing the energy sector (e.g. off-shore windfarms) interaction with the shipping, fisheries and environment concluding that the offshore wind farms can have a negative impact on certain benthic species as well as to create obstacles for migration and access to feeding grounds of birds, fish, seals and bats. Also, it showed the shipping sector interacting with fisheries and environment concluding that it may affect to a large extent environment and fisheries by the shipping traffic, noise and leakage of dangerous substances.
This exercise provided a great opportunity for those who are not familiar with the maritime spatial planning to get an insight however, for the ones who are already familiar with the topic and sector representatives, this tool let explore the issue in details.
At the end, the challenges of the cross-border maritime spatial planning were highlighted to emphasis importance of the cross-border discussions while working on the countries’ own maritime spatial plans.