Overview of MSP related maritime uses
- Currently, use of the marine waters of Latvia differs from intense regarding shipping and fishing to low with a view to the energy sector.
- Current main uses:
- Nature conservation
- Scientific research
- Mineral extraction
- Submarine cables and pipelines
- Future uses:
- Offshore renewable energy production
- Oil and gas
- Estonia has two electricity cables linked to the Finnish grid, and is planning a new high-voltage on land connection with Latvia, but more are needed, also taking into account the future need to connect the off-shore wind farms to the main grid.[ii] Latvia is also interested in a new connection with Sweden.
Which maritime spatial plans exist?
On May 14, 2019, the Government of Latvia approved the Maritime Plan 2030 developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) for the Inland Marine Waters of the Republic of Latvia, the Territorial Sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (Marine Plan 2030).
The Marine Plan 2030 defines the country's priorities for the use of maritime space and is the first long-term national document for marine use. The aim of the Marine Plan is to achieve an efficient and sustainable use of marine space, reconciling the interests of different sectors. The plan provides a balanced and comprehensive view of the future use of the marine space and provides a framework for cooperation for the simultaneous use of marine space.
An English version of the plan will be available by the end of June 2019. More information about the Marine Plan can be found in this press release (in Latvian).
Plan development process
A first draft of an MSP was prepared during 2015. National public consultations and cross-border consultation within the framework of the ESPOO convention were held in late 2015 and early 2016. After 2016, amendments to the plan were made and the MSP 2nd draft was prepared by July 2018 when repeated public consultation was conducted. The 2nd draft of the MSP and Environmental Report are available here. The MSP was approved by the Government in May 2019.
The legal base for MSP in Latvia is the Spatial Development Planning Law, issued on 1st of December, 2011, where MSP and the deadline for starting its elaboration (by 1st of January, 2014) is defined, as well the secondary legislation is prescribed. The Regulation of the Ministers’ Cabinet (Nr. 740) on Development, Implementation and Monitoring of a Maritime Spatial Plan has been approved by the Latvian Government in 2012. The content elaboration procedures, as well as implementation and monitoring procedures of MSP, are defined. The MSP Plan was submitted and announced through ordinary legislative procedures according to the Cabinet of Minister rules of order. The Government approved the MSP in May 2019.
The benefits of the new Spatial Development Planning Law are a) the integrated long-term view to all territory and b) to set priorities and development objectives (spatial structure plan).[ii]
National MSP authority
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Department of Spatial Planning (MoEPRD)
Peldu iela 25 Riga, LV-1494
Phone: +371 67026926
Ingūna Urtāne: Director of Department of Spatial planning
Kristine Kedo: Head of Spatial Planning Policy Division
Last Update 21.05.2019