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Conference on maritime spatial planning

Malta Marittima has teamed up with the Planning Authority to organise a stakeholders’ conference on Maritime Spatial Planning and Blue Growth on September 19. Malta Marittima is responsible for the Blue Economy and integrated maritime policy, whereas maritime spatial planning falls within the remit of the Planning Authority.

Providing the appropriate space for maritime activities requires a framework that supports investment opportunities within the context of safeguarding the quality of the marine environment. Maritime spatial planning enables opportunities for different uses to co-exist.

The EU adopted the directive on maritime spatial planning (Directive 2014/89/EU) last month. The MSP Directive was effectively transposed into Maltese legislation by the end of 2016 following extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders and the public.

As part of the broader portfolio of the EU’s integrated maritime policy, this directive is intended to promote growth of maritime economics, development of marine areas and use of marine resources in accordance with the values and goals of sustainable development.

Malta has a long history in maritime governance. Delivering the objectives of the MSP directive provides scope for improved governance at a national level since it addresses all of Malta’s marine waters, not just the territorial waters. This is expected to translate in greater regulatory efficiency for the benefit of both the government and potential investors.

The stakeholders’ conference objectives are: i) to provide a forum for discussing opportunities and challenges inherent to the promotion of blue economy within the context of MSP; ii) to discuss views on approaches and methodologies ascertaining the effective implementation of MSP for sustainable Blue Growth in Malta.

One of the sessions of the event will focus on a case study being addressed in the SIMWESTMED project, an ongoing project funded by the European Fisheries and Maritime Fund aimed at supporting European Member States to implement MSP particularly in a transboundary context within the western Mediterranean.

The Planning Authority is working with Italian project partners on potential scenarios for MSP in part of the Malta-Sicily channel.  Stakeholders are considered as key contributors to validate any exercise concerning Blue Growth.

The primary scope of such conferences is to facilitate communication and understanding among stakeholders, particularly between public and private entities.

For more information  call 2226 1615, e-mail info.mm@maltamarittima.org.mt or visit www.maltamarittima.org.mt.

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