Methodology for implementing MSP in Cyprus and Greece

Abstract: 

The strategic project “ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ - Cross-border Cooperation for Maritime Spatial Planning Development” (THAL-CHOR) aimed at the development of a MSP methodology and its pilot implementation in selected area of Cyprus and Greece, as well as at supporting the preparation of both countries for the implementation of the EU Directive on MSP. The developed methodology consists of ten main steps: definition of the overall study area, overview of the legal framework, data and information collection, analysis of current and future conditions, selection of pilot areas to apply the MSP methodology, definition of principles and objectives, integration and updating of existing data and information, detailed analysis of current and future conditions, development of pilot Maritime Spatial Plans, evaluation of the applied methodology. All these methodological steps are supported since the beginning to the end of the MSP process by two cross-cutting activities: consultation with stakeholders and promotion and communication.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
2015
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Data
Stakeholders
Type of practice: 
Methodology
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Stocktake
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Yes
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What are the methodological steps to be considered in implementing MSP?
  • How have the methodology developed within the THAL-CHOR project been tested through pilot case studies?

Implementation Context

The project “ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ - Cross border cooperation for Maritime Spatial Planning Development” (THAL-CHOR) aimed at the development of a MSP methodology and its pilot implementation for drafting marine spatial plans in two selected areas of Cyprus (Limassol) and Greece (Islands of Lesvos and Rhodes). Resolution of spatial conflicts between different uses of the sea and coastal areas, better coordination between stakeholders, strengthening cross-border cooperation, and creation of conditions for achieving sustainable development in line with the strategy "Europe 2020” were other THAL-CHOR objectives. The project duration was from February 2014 to December 2015.

Aspects / Objectives

THAL-CHOR methodology identifies the specific steps to be followed in order to help the implementation process of MSP, including cross-cutting activities (stakeholder engagement and communication) which are strongly important for the success of the MSP process. The whole THAL-CHOR project, including the developed methodology, aimed at supporting the preparation of Cyprus and Greece for the implementation of the MSP Directive in the two countries.

Method

THAL-CHOR MSP methodology consist in 10 main steps:

  1. Definition of the overall study area and related boundaries and identification of the plan timeframe
  2. Overview of the legal framework
  3. Gathering of available data and information related to the overall study area
  4. Analysis of current and future conditions about maritime activities and status of the marine environment
  5. Selection of specific pilot areas to apply the MSP methodology
  6. Definition of principles and objectives
  7. Integration and updating of collected data and information
  8. Detailed analysis of current and future conditions, including analysis of conflicts and compatibilities among uses
  9. Development of pilot Maritime Spatial Plans
  10. Evaluation of the applied methodology

Consultation with interested parties and promotion and communication are cross-cutting activities included in the THAL-CHOR methodology that were run in parallel with all above nine steps. THAL-CHOR recognises that engagement of all interested stakeholders has a crucial role in MSP. This activity should start in the early stages of the methodology, enabling stakeholders to express their views and suggestions, sharing data and information and at the same time learning about the MSP process and expected benefits. Moreover, information sharing and communication play an important role to increase the general public awareness on MSP.

Steps of THAL-CHOR MSP methodology. Source: THAL-CHOR project

Main Outputs / Results

The main result of the THAL-CHOR project is the development of the methodology, procedure and appropriate framework for the implementation of MSP through the cross-border cooperation between Cyprus and Greece. The developed methodology was applied in two selected areas: one in Cyprus (Limassol area in the south of the island) and another in Greece (Islands of Lesvos and Rhodes). The results obtained through the application of the developed methodology include:

  • Overview of the current legal framework and suggestions for its improvement;
  • Stock-taking of the current situation, by collecting available data and information related to human activities at sea and the status of the marine environment;
  • Enrichment/updating of existing databases by collecting new data and information;
  • Development of a WebGIS service for each of the pilot area, displaying collected data;
  • Definition of future priorities and objectives and analysis of future status of human activities at sea and of the marine environment;
  • Analysis of current and future conflicts and compatibilities among maritime uses;
  • Elaboration of pilot plans for the development of existing and new maritime activities, while ensuring the good environmental status (GES).

Project results, together with problems and difficulties encountered, were shared and discussed with local stakeholders in meetings and workshops.

Cumulative conflicts between sea and land activities for the Limassol area (Cyprus): source: THAL-CHOR project

Transferability

The methodology developed by THAL-CHOR project aims at supporting the preparation of Cyprus and Greece for the implementation of the EU Directive on MSP. This methodology can be capitalized in other MSP initiatives and projects.

Contact

Kyriacos Aliouris

Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works

Department of Merchant Shipping

Ph.: +357 25848246

E-mail: kaliouris@dms.mcw.gov.cy

Responsible Entity

Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works

Department of Merchant Shipping

Costs / Funding Source

The MSP methodology was developed within the THAL-CHOR project, which was funded under the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme “Greece-Cyprus 2007-2013”. The total budget of the project was 3.5 million euros: 80% were financed by the EU ERDF and 20% from national resources of Greece and Cyprus.

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