Maritime spatial planning and land-use: laws, agreements, and programmes

The purpose of maritime spatial planning (MSP) is to promote the sustainable development and growth of the various uses of the sea, i.e. the sustainable use of marine resources. The ultimate goal of maritime spatial planning is the good status of the sea.

MSP strives to reconcile the objectives of different uses, such as energy production, maritime transport, fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, recreation and the environment, as well as nature conservation. In addition, attention needs to be paid, among other things, to the needs of national defence and heritage conservation.

The EU Marine Strategy Directive requires maritime spatial planning

The EU Marine Strategy Directive requires that maritime spatial plans be made. Finland's maritime spatial plans will be drawn up by the end of March 2021.

The maritime spatial plans drafted for territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) comply with provincial boundaries. Three sea basin plans are being prepared for Finland:

  1. The Gulf of Finland
  2. The Archipelago Sea and the southern Bothnian Sea
  3. The northern Bothnian Sea, the Kvarken, and the Bay of Bothnia

Also, Åland is responsible for the MSP of its own waters.

MSP is also related to land use and construction

Maritime spatial planning is governed by the Land Use and Building Act. The drafting of MSPs is guided by a coordination group made up of representatives from the Ministry of the Environment and coastal provincial associations. The latter group prepare the marine spatial plans in cooperation with the stakeholders. More detailed regulations are issued by government decrees.

Maritime Spatial Planning

Maritime spatial planning (, Ministry of the Environment)

Åland (in Swedish)

Laws, agreements and programmes