Transboundary tools for spatial planning and conservation of the Gulf of Finland

Transboundary tools for spatial planning and conservation of the Gulf of Finland

Project Implementation Period: 
January 2012 - January 2014
Specific Funding Programme: 

Interreg 2007-2013 South-East Finland-Russia ENPI CBC

Budget: 

1 716 755€

About the Project: 

TOPCONS is a Finnish-Russian co-operation project that developed innovative spatial tools for the regional planning and long-term invocation of the sea areas. These help the society when striving for the sustainable consolidation of human activities and the marine nature values.

The objective of the project was to create methodology and tools to aid in forecasting and mapping the locations of the most diverse and sensitive under-water landscapes, and in the light of this knowledge, to execute planning of the ecosystem-based management.

The project utilized existing knowledge on the geology, biology and human pressures in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. The datasets were combined in the GIS-environment. Chosen experimental plots in the field were mapped and examined thoroughly and the possible correlations between the geological and biological diversity studied. One of the central research questions was, if the location of biologically diverse areas could be predicted based on the observations on the prevailing geological and physical conditions.  The project aimed at producing harmonized and comparable, trans-disciplinary data for the joint use of both Finnish and Russian researchers from the whole area of the Eastern Gulf of Finland.

TOPCONS produced knowledge that can be directly utilized for the planning of sustainable use and the conservation of the seas. During this project, the first version of the spatial planning tool, tested by the potential end-users, e.g. decision-makers, designers and researchers, was created. In the future, this approach can be expanded to cover wider sea areas, by including data on local conditions.                                                                                                                                                         promote acceptance of the results by the main target groups and stakeholders, including regional and national authorities, EU decision-makers, planners and regulators, offshore generation developers and other users of the sea.

TOPCONS used data already produced by VELMU (The Finnish Marine Underwater Inventory Program), but contributed also to the overall information production of the program.

Experiences from other projects such as Plan Bothnia were also used.

Project partners

  • Finnish Kotka Maritime Research Centre – Lead partner (FI)
  • University of Helsinki (FI)
  • Finnish Environment Institute (FI)
  • Geological Survey of Finland (FI)
  • Metsähallitus (FI)
  • Finnish Game and Fisheries Research (FI)
  • A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (RU)
  • Russian Academy of Science (RU)
  • Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RU)

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