The Malta Independent 28 June 2017, Wednesday

Planning Authority to partner regional agencies in €2m maritime spatial planning project

Thursday, 12 January 2017, 09:12 Last update: about 7 months ago

The SIMWESTMED project which the Planning Authority is a joint partner of has been chosen by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) to carry out an EU Funded Project on Maritime Spatial Planning, the PA said in a statement.

The project, entitled Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Western Mediterranean Region ‘SIMWESTMED’ will receive over 2 million euro under the the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

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The project which is being led by the French Hydrographic Services SHOM in partnership with 14 other regional partners including MSP competent  authorities and national research institutes, will support the implementation of the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning in Member States' marine waters and carry out concrete, cross-border cooperation initiatives between Member States in the Western Mediterranean region and representation from UNEP/MAP responsible for Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the Committee for Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).

Michelle Borg, Manager for the Green and Blue Development Unit within the Planning Authority said “our interest as a joint partner in the SIMWESTMED project is particularly linked with our responsibility as national Competent Authority for MSP  to  improve our understanding of current and potential future demands on maritime space and resources within the Mediterranean. Participation is expected to assist us to  identify and develop mechanisms for transboundary co-operation,  support national efforts for policy development, decision making, data management and sharing, as well as build capacity  to implement Maritime Spatial Planning effectively.”

Ms Borg added that “this project is a unique opportunity for the Planning Authority to broaden its knowledge and expertise in Maritime Spatial Planning with a view to explore the spatial demands and future trends for maritime sectors and marine conservation. It will also aid the development of tools and methods to support the MSP process with stakeholder engagement at the local level. The outcome of this project is expected to provide another successful milestone in the Planning Authority’s work towards sustainable development.  

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