The practice within the strategic project “Cross-border Cooperation for Maritime Spatial Planning Development” ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ (THAL-CHOR) aimed to develop an MSP methodology and its pilot implementation in selected regions of Greece and Cyprus, as well as to support the preparation of both countries for the implementation of the EU Directive on MSP. In Greece the overall study area included the coastal and marine areas of three regions: the Northern Aegean Region, the Southern Aegean Region and the Region of Crete. Pilot plans were specifically elaborated for the Lesvos and Rhodes islands. These plans cover coastal and marine issues, as well as cross-cutting issues (e.g. climate change) within the territorial waters of the two islands. Two potential future activities were also analysed: shore wind farms, and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation.
Development / Implementation Context
The project “ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ - Cross border cooperation for Maritime Spatial Planning Development” aimed to the development of MSP methodology and its pilot implementation for the preparation of marine spatial plans in selected regions of Greece and Cyprus. The pilot plans are thus written in Greek.
As a pilot MSP plan, it is not legally binding.
Impact on planning and decision-making
ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ aimed to support the preparation of Greece and Cyprus for the implementation of the MSP Directive at Ministry level.
Pilot plans focused on Lesvos and Rhodes Islands. These plans cover coastal (coastal urban spatial planning; ports; tourism) and marine issues (fisheries; aquaculture; offshore energy mining and production; shipping), as well as general issues (climate change) within the territorial waters of the islands.
ΘΑΛ-ΧΩΡ project was funded within the framework of the transboundary cooperation between Greece and Cyprus 2007-2013 and was cofounded by the EU. The project duration was 02/2014 - 09/2015.
Objectives of the plan
The project aimed at developing a methodology for MSP and then using this methodology for pilot implementation in selected areas in Cyprus and Greece for drafting maritime spatial plans, as well as for preparing both countries for the imminent implementation of the EU Directive on MSP.
Ten existing key activities or MSP related issues or were identified as major in terms of socio-economic importance:
- Environmental quality
- Climate change
- Maritime transportation
- Coastal infrastructure
- ultural heritage
- Urban sprawl
Two potential future activities were also analysed:
- On shore wind farms
- Hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation
Strategic Environmental Assessment
As pilot MSP plans, Strategic Environmental Assessment was not applied.
Data and a Web-GIS system were made available via the THAL-CHOR project website to share results and support stakeholders’ engagement.
Transboundary issues were considered in relation to commonly accepted methodology for the development of MS plans.
Project website: http://www.mspcygr.info