Requirements for data to be used in marine spatial planning.


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The document provides recommendations for structuring the datasets for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) based on scientific literature, reports of MSP projects conducted in the Baltic Sea region (BSR), documents prepared by the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group, and expert knowledge available within the BONUS BASMATI project. 

Sea Basin(s): 
August 2018
Application in MSP: 
Applied in a related process
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management


Questions this practice may help answer: 

What data requirements are needed to include ecosystem services in marine planning?

Implementation Context: 

The work was carried out within the framework of the Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Ecosystem Services (BONUS BASMATI) project. 

Aspects / Objectives: 

The aim was to reach a better interoperability and harmonisation for the inclusion of ecosystem services in the MSP processes, as well as a joint data management within the case studies anchored in the BONUS BASMATI project. The proposed data requirements can improve transboundary collaboration and foster coherent marine spatial plans. 


Tha data requirements proposed in the document are reflected and discussed from the perspectives of various stakeholders, including the planners. The document incorporates a number of case studies and a technical perspective of the Baltic Explorer. The report proposes data requirements to facilitate the inclusion of ecosystem services in the maritime spatial planning process. 

Main Outputs / Results: 

Proposed recommendations included:  

  • to include the categories for datasets, corresponding to the ecosystem service framework;  
  • to integrate information regarding the relations between the data categories via tags or keywords;   
  • to thoroughly describe data properties regarding the spatial dimension, time frame, conflict/synergy potential, and data origin; 
  • to support metadata description by simple guidelines. 


Although proposed data standards were elaborated for the Baltic Sea region, they are applicable to the MSP processes in other regions. 

Responsible Entity: 

Bonus Basmati project.

Costs / Funding Source: 

The work was sponsored by the BONUS (art. 185), funded jointly by the EU, Innovation Fund Denmark, Swedish Research Council Formas, Academy of Finland, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science and Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany).