More than 200 maritime stakeholders join online to discuss Italian MSP, Tourism and the new Italian-Tunisian cooperation

On 25 and 26 June 2020, the WestMED Italian National Hub, with the support of the National Coordinator and the WestMED Central Team, gathered over 200 stakeholders online. These were spread over four different sessions: two plenary thematic sessions in the morning and two networking sessions in the afternoon.

Considering the Italian co-presidency in 2020 – 2021, the event was given a high international profile, welcoming contributions from main European and Mediterranean experts, the EU Commission (DG MARE, DG GROW, DG MOVE, EASME), EU MSP Platform and UNESCO IOC – MSP GLOBAL, for the benefit of Italian stakeholders.

Parallel to the National Event, the WestMED Technical Group on Green Shipping held its second online meeting, advancing on the definition of possible common project ideas on a better use of LNG and clean energies in maritime transportation.

On 25 June, the topic of the day was Maritime Spatial Planning as a tool to enhance any harmonic Blue Growth in Italy and in the Western Mediterranean. It included the state of play of the Italian process towards the March 2021 target of the MSP National Plan and its importance for the Metropolitan Coastal cities, the infrastructures for energy and maritime transport, the combination between human coastal activities and the preservation of maritime habitat.

On 26 June, the need to identify a new sustainable model for tourism was in the spotlight, with a focus on trying to offer the sector a sustainable perspective, mitigating the current impact of COVID-1 and adapting to the new scenario imposed by the accelerated climate change.

As a second initiative, since the signature of their cooperation agreement, Italian and Tunisian maritime clusters held a b2b session and focused on four main topics: high maritime education and VET, Maritime Surveillance, Fishing and Aquaculture, Nautical sector. This in order to already define some priority actions to be implemented from September onwards.

Considering the appreciation expressed by the stakeholders, the Italian WestMED National Hub and WestMED National Coordinator foresee the opportunity to implement further occasions of networking, as a follow-up of the emerged partnership opportunities.

Click here for an overview of all presentations

WestMED National Event in Mauritania helps concretise the Blue Economy concept

On 30 June 2020, more than 20 stakeholders from Mauritania gathered online to discuss the Blue Economy concept.

This national event was  organised by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism in cooperation with the National Coordinator in Mauritania of the WestMED Initiative at the Mauritanian  Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy.

It was a first of its kind meeting on the Blue Economy in Mauritania where many different organisations and institutions were represented from the private sector, the public sector and the academic world.

Next to an exchange of views, 10 ideas were identified that can be focused on to take the Blue Economy concept in Mauritania to a next stage:

  1. Promote the blue economy profile in Mauritania
  2. Skills and competences of actors for sustainable development (fisheries)
  3. Innovation to improve sustainability (e.g., waste/plastic management beyond collection, sewage treatment plants and sustainable fishing vessels);
  4. Plastic reuse experience in Senegal as pilot to capitalise in Mauritania (?);
  5. Capitalise on the (eco) tourism experience related to marine protected areas (example Nouadhibou) for coastal development with support for local capacities/skills;
  6. Desalination projects to improve access to water – be aware of MPA.
  7. Access to renewable energy (marine) for local communities
  8. MSP as an essential tool for good shared use of the sea and coastlines
  9. MSP as an essential tool to allow for a proper shared usage of the sea and littorals (pressure on coastal areas could be addressed through “green solutions”)
  10. Strategic study to identify priority activities to support a sustainable blue economy.

The National Hub Mauritania, together with the National Coordinator will study these initial ideas in more detail  and decide on a path forward.

Resources of the event: Agenda, Opening presentation(in French), Video-recording of the event 

Sustainability of marine resources and preservation of biodiversity: Morocco on the path to a Blue Economy

This article was first published on MSP Global 2030 website.

A boat on a beach

Thirty Moroccan representatives gathered in Rabat (Morocco) on 27-28 November 2019 for the first MSPglobal national training course in the country, where they gained new knowledge, shared experience and considered next steps for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and the Sustainable Blue Economy.

This first inter-institutional meeting allowed stakeholders ranging from government agencies, law enforcement, academia and research to sit around the table to discuss coordination and process for MSP and the Sustainable Blue Economy.

Important questions were raised, such as the main drivers of implementation of MSP in the country, the expected social, economic and ecological benefits, as well as the obstacles/constraints for a correct MSP implementation: data, mapping and institutional coordination on national and international legislation.

Nevertheless, while MSP in Morocco is still at an early stage, the potentials and advantages of applying it are evident and were broadly recognized by the participants.

“MSP is a formidable regulatory tool that will help us to develop a blue economy through the optimal use of marine and coastal areas – by limiting conflicts of use, regulating new space requirements, while preserving ecosystems,” explained Laila Bensmail from the Department of Maritime Fisheries. “Our biggest problem is urgency. Maritime activities are increasing and there is an urgent need to implement MSP at national and regional level.”

With the support of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MSP Challenge game was used to simulate a planning process between three fictitious countries, during which participants were asked to define the vision, objectives, indicators, actions and stakeholders for short and long-term.

It helped to highlight issues that occur in real life during the planning process and triggered some deep discussions among participants. This training gave them more incentive to work collaboratively to develop their plans.

“These two days of training were very constructive. We have learned a lot about MSP and also put forward recommendations that can be applied in the national maritime space,” said Aomar Bourhim, Moroccan WestMED Coordinator and MSPglobal Focal Point in Morocco.

These included the establishment of marine protected areas to preserve living resources and habitats in the marine environment; more investment in renewable energy; the implementation of incentives for innovative projects linked to the blue economy and respectful of the environment; the creation of an interdisciplinary governance structure dedicated to MSP for the good governance of maritime activities and uses at sea; and awareness-raising campaigns on MSP among the private sector and the general public.

The course was co-organized with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests. It will contribute to the development of a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and Sustainable Blue Economy in the West Mediterranean, in line with the WestMED Initiative.


The documents and the original article are available at:

More information on MSP Global 2030 at

Atelier sur la planification de l’espace maritime en Algérie

La problématique de la cohabitation de l’ensemble des activités maritimes ne peut être résolue sans une gestion intégrée. Des activités traditionnelles déjà existantes (pêche et navigation, etc.), se superposent, aujourd’hui, avec certaines pratiques (extraction de granulats marins, navigation de plaisance, etc.), mais aussi de nouvelles activités, amenées à se développer vers le large (énergies marines renouvelables, aquaculture et exploitation offshore, etc.). Face à ces enjeux de développement, la nécessité de conserver les écosystèmes marins favorise également la création d’aires marines protégées.

Dans la cadre de la mise en œuvre des activités du Programme DIVECO 2, l’Unité d’Appui au Projet en partenariat avec la Direction Générale de la Pêche et de l’Aquaculture (DGPA) et le Centre National de Recherche et du Développement de la Pêche et de l’Aquaculture (CNRDPA), organisaient le Dimanche 14 avril 2019, un Atelier portant sur la Planification de l’Espace Maritime en Algérie.

Présenter et discuter l’état des lieux sur l’utilisation de l’espace maritime en Algérie, présenter un aperçu sur l’évolution des activités maritimes dans le temps et l’espace, et mettre la lumière sur la réalisation d’objectif de durabilité entre toutes les activités marines. Les activités concernées peuvent être : les zones de pêche et d’aquaculture, les installations d’exploration de pétrole, de gaz, de minéraux et de granulats, ainsi que la production d’énergie renouvelable, les routes maritimes, les zones d’entrainement militaire, les sites protégés, les zones de la recherche scientifique, les câbles sous-marins, le tourisme et le patrimoine culturel sous-marin.

Les résultats attendus de cet atelier sont les suivants :

  • Une concertation sur les progrès accomplis dans la mise en œuvre des actions de gestion intégrée de l’utilisation de l’espace marin en Algérie menées entre les secteurs et les acteurs de milieu marin ;
  • Les évaluations des progrès et de leur efficacité sont discutées avec les secteurs ;
  • Les mesures à prendre pour une meilleure planification de l’espace maritime sont discutées.

Plusieurs acteurs ont pris part à cet atelier des Membres du Comité Intersectoriel sur l’Economie Bleue, des représentants des secteurs en lien avec les activités marines et maritimes, des chercheurs et universitaires, des représentants de la Direction de la Conservation des Forêts, les Directions de la Pêche et de l’Environnement des wilayas, les Chambres de la Pêche et d’Aquaculture, des associations environnementales.

Atelier de formation sur la démarche prospective

La réflexion sur le futur existe depuis des millénaires. Si de nombreux outils sont disponibles, le but est toujours le même : éclairer les conditions de toute décision et estimer ses conséquences. Ce but ambitieux mobilise toutes les ressources de l’intelligence humaine et notamment de nombreuses méthodes, tant quantitatives que qualitatives. La planification spatiale maritime devient un élément-clé des problématiques marines comme le changement climatique ou la croissance bleue durable.

Les 22-28 février 2018 a eu lieu au CNRDPA de Bou-Ismail un atelier de formation sur la démarche prospective dont le contenu a été le suivant :

  • Présenter l’utilité de la veille et de la démarche prospective comme instrument d’anticipation au service de la décision et de l’action.
  • Exposer aux participants comment la prospective peut structurer la veille et indiquer les questionnements nécessaires pour trouver des indicateurs pertinents et les sources suivant les sujets.
  • Permettre aux participants de s’approprier les concepts et les différents outils mis en œuvre dans la méthode des scénarios pour s’approprier concrètement la démarche au travers d’un exercice pratique.
  • Rendre compte des méthodes et des outils de veille, d’intelligence stratégique et de prospective permettant de détecter des signaux faibles et des ruptures ou des changements de tendances.
  • Expliquer comment utiliser les scénarios pour élaborer une stratégie.

Launch of a new initiative on Maritime Spatial Planning

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the European Commission will launch, MSPGlobal, a new global project on maritime spatial planning, on 11 and 12 February at UNESCO Headquarters. The project aims to promote better maritime spatial planning with a view to avoiding conflicts and improving the governance of human activities at sea such as aquaculture, tourism, marine energy, and exploitation of the seabed.

The launch conference will bring together experts, political decision-makers and stakeholders, providing them with an opportunity to take stock of existing experiences in maritime spatial planning and discuss the challenges they raise, notably with regard to cross-border cooperation.

The three-year MSPglobal project aims to develop international guidelines on maritime spatial planning and regulate activities in coastal and marine waters, which have grown significantly in recent decades.

Two pilot projects will be implemented under MSPglobal to create a repository of data, knowledge, policies and decision-making tools for maritime spatial planning. Their objective is also to strengthen local authorities’ data management capacities. The first pilot project will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean (Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia), the second in the Southeast Pacific with a specific cross-border exercise in the historic bay of Guayaquil (Ecuador and Peru). Parallel training activities will also be organized with experts from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Libya, Mauritania, Panama, Peru and Portugal.

The MSPglobal project, combined with the implementation of the nine actions of the Joint Roadmap published by the IOC and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in 2017, aims to treble the area of territorial waters covered by a maritime spatial planning system by 2030.

The event will be broadcast live: