Marine spatial planning

Helping to ensure a coordinated, sustainable approach to maritime activities.

The emerging field of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) – the extension of land use planning to marine space – is becoming increasingly important as the seas become used for more activities such as renewable energy. As competition for space and resources grows, the development of innovative, coordinated solutions to manage the use of the seas, avoid conflict and promote sustainable development is vital.

The University of Liverpool MSP team works with a range of external organisations to support effective marine planning using ecosystem-based approaches and stakeholder participation. We help clients by supporting the production of marine plans that meet business needs while protecting the environment and acknowledging other users of the sea, such as commercial fishing and shipping companies, marine conservationists and port developers.

Our expertise

We can provide specialist, evidence-based advice, informed by the latest research, in the following areas:

  • European and national legislation on MSP
  • Transboundary cooperation
  • Land-sea interaction and sustainable coastal development
  • Current and future marine developments
  • Understanding wider policy frameworks.

Our services

We offer support across the lifetime of a project, including:

  • Scenario building to help scope potential projects
  • Identifying possible challenges or objections
  • Improving stakeholder engagement
  • Ensuring good governance that is open, inclusive and reflects policy
  • Reviewing planning documents
  • Evaluating existing processes.

Why work with us?

  • Well-connected: we provide access to a wide network of dedicated, international MSP experts and maritime bodies, including government authorities, as well as a wealth of knowledge and practical guidance from EU Member States currently engaging in MSP initiatives
  • Specialist: our team has particular expertise in MSP in Atlantic coastal countries (UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal) and the wider implementation of MSP throughout Europe
  • Independent: we offer independent expertise based on the latest research and good practice in MSP
  • Cross-disciplinary: our team boasts a unique combination of scientific and policy expertise, drawing on specialist knowledge from across the University to support our work.

The European MSP Platform’s services allow officials, planners and other stakeholders interested in MSP to build on what is already available, avoid duplication of efforts, assist in capacity building and foster development of new good practices.

Angela Schultz-Zehden, Managing Director s.Pro - sustainable projects GmbH and Contract Lead Manager for the EU MSP Platform