Related Initiatives & Databases

In addition to the variety of informational resources presented on the MSP Platform website, there are several additional curated collections of practical experiences which provide useful references for MSP in Europe. The links to the following platforms are shared in our continuing effort to make highly relevant information available from our comprehensive website.



Blue Solutions is a global project implemented in partnership by GIZ, GRID-Arendal, IUCN and UN Environment. It is financed by the German Environment Ministry (BMU) through its International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Blue Solutions Initiative works on issues related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources such as marine spatial planning and ICZM, biodiversity conservation and protected areas, integration of ecosystem services into planning processes, adaptation to climate change in coastal areas and sustainable financing.

EU Maritime Forum

The Maritime Forum aims to improve communication amongst EU maritime policy stakeholders. It allows parties interested in the EU maritime policy to communicate on a common platform. They can publish events, documents and follow developments in their areas of interest.

MSP Global

In 2017, the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) adopted a  “Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime / Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide”. As a result of this fruitful partnership, the International MSP Forum and the MSPglobal Initiative were established one year later.

The results of this framework will be a joint contribution of the European Commission and IOC-UNESCO to the joint voluntary commitment #OceanAction15346 presented by both institutions during the United Nations Ocean Conference. The project will also be a major contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) adopted by the 72th UN General Assembly on 5 December 2017.

MSPglobal covers the following priority actions of the MSP Roadmap: 1) International Guidelines on Transboundary MSP; 2) Sustainable Blue Economy; 3) Ecosystem-based Management MSP, considering cumulative impacts; and 4) Capacity Building. On the other hand, the MSP Forum was implemented to achieve the priority action 5 on Mutual Understanding.


The OURCOAST ICZM Database seeks to bring to light experiences, knowledge and tools that have been developed for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The database provides short summaries describing cases where the principles and tools of ICZM have been applied. This facilitates the sharing of experiences from around Europe, and further encourages the adoption of good practices in coastal management and supports the decision-making process towards a more integrated and sustainable approach.  There is significant overlap in the principles and practices of ICZM and MSP; therefore, many of the cases included in the OURCOAST database are pertinent to MSP. Although new cases are not currently being added to OURCOAST, the descriptions of previous practical experiences are still relevant.

PANORAMA - Solutions for a healthy planet

PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet is a partnership initiative to document and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics, enabling cross-sectoral learning and inspiration.

All marine and coastal solution examples are curated by the Blue Solutions project, a global, multi-organisational initiative, which collates, shares and generates knowledge and capacity for sustainable management and equitable governance of our blue planet. Since 2013, Blue Solutions has pioneered the development of an approach to capture success stories, promote them and facilitate their adaptation to and implementation in new contexts to stop re-inventing the wheel over and over again.

On the online platform Marine and Coastal Solutions Themtatic Portal, descriptions of these success stories (“solutions”) from throughout the world are available, including those presented at workshops and events, which were conducted in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Several solutions that are relevant to MSP are currently available, and additional descriptions will be continuously added.

Explore the solutions now and contribute your own experiences!


OpenChannels is a knowledge hub for the global community of practice on ocean planning, ecosystem-based management, and marine protected areas. The Forum for Ocean Planning and Management presents the latest news, literature, online events, grant opportunities, jobs, and more.

UNESCO-IOC Marine Spatial Planning Programme

The Marine Spatial Planning Programme helps countries implement ecosystem-based management by finding space for biodiversity, conservation and sustainable economic development in marine areas. Marine Spatial Planning makes this possible by:

  • Developing a step-by-step approach for implementing marine spatial planning;
  • Documenting marine spatial planning initiatives around the world;
  • Identifying good practices of marine spatial planning;
  • Collecting references and literature on marine spatial planning;
  • Enhancing understanding about marine spatial planning through publications;
  • And building capacity through training marine spatial planning professionals.

global MSP Inventory

The Global MSP Inventory was developed by UNEP-WCMC to suppor the European Commision Study on international best practices in cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning. The Global MSP Inventory was designed to provide an up-to-date characterisation of MSP Processes outside of Europe, and enable a simple analysis of characteristics of MSP processes. The Global MSP Inventory uses information from the UN Environment's MSP in Practice Initiative and its associated database of MSP processes. The inventory file contains:

  • Methodology - a description of the approach taken to develop the inventory, as detailed in the study report;
  • Inventory - the spreadsheet of MSP processes and information fields
  • Description of inventory fields - the description and source of information contained within the inventory
  • Dropdown - the list of pre-selected responses used within the inventory

This is an external database that will not be updated by the EU MSP Platform.

MSP Research Network

The Marine Spatial Planning Research Network is an informal grouping of scientists, policy-makers and practitioners who wish to contribute to the development of marine spatial planning through academic-based research. The network is interested in evaluating the varying approaches that are being applied in different contexts, and exploring new ideas and techniques for taking MSP forward.

ICES Working Group on Maritime Spatial Planning

The ICES Working Group Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM) discusses current developments around Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Coastal Zone Management (CZM) in the ICES area. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​An inter- and transdisciplinary group, WGMPCZM involves people from social and natural sciences and from administrations in ICES Member countries. Based on current developments in marine planning practice and research, WGMPCZM focuses on knowledge gaps in MSP, risk analysis, quality assurance of a) advice for MSP and b) of mechanisms and processes in coastal and marine planning, social-cultural dimensions of marine ecosystem services and the use of fisheries data in plan decision making processes.

EMODnet Human Activities


EMODnet Human Activities aims to facilitate access to existing marine data on activities carried out in EU waters, by building a single entry point for geographic information on 14 different themes. The portal makes available information such as geographical position, spatial extent of a series of activities related to the sea, their temporal variation, time when data was provided, and attributes to indicate the intensity of each activity.

New mapping tools were added in 2019 to allow greater flexibility when interrogating data, which includes: Possibility to draw a rectangle over the visible map layers and download the data selected as tabular data only (particularly useful for non-GIS users); A printing and annotating of maps function; Transparency settings for map layers; Place name search.