Belgium

Belgium

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

  • The Belgian Part of the North Sea is a relatively small area with many different uses
  • Current main uses:
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Shipping
    • Ports
    • Mineral extraction
    • Nature conservation
    • Fisheries
    • Military
    • Scientific research
  • Other current uses: aquaculture zones, coastal defence, ammunition storage site, measuring poles and radars
  • Future uses:
    • Submarine cables and pipelines
    • Aquaculture
  • Other future uses: offshore energy storage
  • Issues: uses within nature protection zones and MPAs, offshore wind development

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Maritime Spatial Plan for the Belgian Part of the North Sea, March 2014

  • The plan contains the following sectors:

    • Shipping
    • Ports
    • Mineral extraction
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Fishing
    • Aquaculture
    • Tourism (incl. recreation and sports)
    • Under water cultural heritage
    • Nature protection
    • Military
    • Scientific Research
    • Submarine cables and pipelines

MSP legislation

The planning process at the national level has a legal basis in the Marine Environment Act of January 20, 1999, amended in 2012 to include the development of an MSP for Belgian waters. Its name was also amended to "Act for the protection of marine environment and for the organisation of maritime spatial planning in the maritime regions under the Belgian jurisdiction."

A Royal Decree of November 20, 2012 dictates the establishment of an advisory committee and the procedure for the adoption of a MSP in the Belgian maritime regions. The Royal Decree of March 20, 2014 adopts the present MSP (incl. annexes, see above).

On the 20th of April  2018, the Council of Ministers has adopted the Belgian draft MSP for the period 2020-2026. The advice of the consultative commission, composed of all the competent Belgian federal and Flemish government services, has been carefully scrutinized and many valuable suggestions have been incorporated in the draft MSP. A large-scale and formal consultation process will be initiated in July 2018 and citizens will be invited to send in their comments to the draft plan and to the strategic environmental assessment (SEA). A public hearing will also be organized. As part of the consultation process, the neighboring and interested countries will also be contacted. Hereby, the Belgian Minister for the North Sea, Philippe De Backer, commits to continue the Belgian leading role in MSP. More information will follow in due course.

National MSP authority

Belgian Minister of the North Sea

Contact

Marine Environment Division of the Directorate General of Environment of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment

Steven Vandenborre

Jesse Verhalle

https://www.health.belgium.be/en/environment/seas-oceans-and-antarctica/north-sea-and-oceans/marine-spatial-planning

Federal Government Service for Mobility Director General Shipping

Jeroen Van Overloop

 

Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models and the Scheldt estuary (MUMM), a department of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

Steven Degraer

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Last Update 02.07.2018