Maritime spatial planning in Russia to protect the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is a highly sensitive natural environmentClick to enlarge
The Baltic Sea is a highly sensitive natural environment
Source: jarmoluk / Pixabay

The German Environment Agency, with support from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, supported and advised a three-year Advisory Assistance Project entitled "Environmentally sound concepts of maritime spatial use for the Baltic Sea Area of the Russian Federation".

The final symposium took place on 25 October 2016 in the framework of the XV All-Russian Forum "Strategic Planning in the Regions and Cities of Russia” in St. Petersburg (Russia). 

Globalization, growing trade relations and increasing tourism are putting a greater focus on the oceans and seas as both habitat and economic areas. Yet the oceans are ecologically highly sensitive natural environments. To reconcile the different demands placed on maritime space in a timely and precautionary manner – in particular in the coastal waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – now more than ever calls for an instrument to regulate, develop and secure its uses and functions. These are the tasks of maritime spatial planning which seeks to reconcile the societal and economic demands placed on maritime space with priorities in environmental protection. 

The key focus of the Advisory Assistance Project with Russia was the development of an environmentally friendly utilization concept which illustrates conflicting uses and solutions using the example of the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland and the Neva Bay. Many authorities and research institutions on the German and Russian side cooperated on the project. German and Russian experts presented and discussed project results at a final symposium. Recommendations and guidance for maritime spatial planning in Russia were announced. The results and recommendations will help advance on-going processes of maritime spatial planning in Russia which also benefit all the states in the Baltic Sea Region.