Position paper: ecosystem-based approach for Maritime Spatial Planning in the EU

Posted on March, 10 2020

WWF’s vision is to ensure an ecosystem-based approach to the EU's maritime spatial plans
By the end of March 2021, EU Member States are required to draw up national maritime spatial plans that identify all existing human activities in EU waters and the most effective way of managing them, with consideration to land-sea interactions and establishing appropriate cross-border cooperation. Under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), EU Member States are required to apply an ecosystem-based approach to these plans, and to contribute to the protection, preservation and restoration of the marine environment.

WWF advocates that adopting an ecosystem-based approach must apply within and across EU Member States’ borders to deliver effective nature conservation and secure ocean resilience in light of the impacts of climate change, as well as supporting a Sustainable Blue Economy. 

WWF calls on the EU and its Member States to:
  1. Lead on the protection and conservation of marine ecosystems on which all maritime sectors ultimately depend;
  2. Urge all EU Member States to intensify efforts to safeguard marine biodiversity and restore ocean health; and
  3. Invite civil society, stakeholders and rights-holders to work together towards a thriving Sustainable Blue Economy.
Commercial fishing vessel and recreational fisher in the North Sea
© Misjel Decleer