EU: Maximising coastal opportunities

30 Mar 2011

Transparent planning and management of European waters are needed to balance the interests at play against sustaining the long-term benefit of coastal and marine resources to society.

With these objectives in mind, the European Commission has launched a public consultation to explore options for future EU action on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

"Wind farms and fishing areas, tourist resorts and transport routes: coastal and marine areas offer significant opportunities for economic development, leisure and living. But increased pressure and competition for space and resources must also take account of the rich but fragile biodiversity of these areas", said European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki. She added: "Maritime Spatial Planning – which is part of the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy – can be used to prevent potential conflicts, maximise synergies, and ensure the efficient and sustainable use of scarce maritime resources, by bringing sea-related activities in different sectors together within a common planning framework."

The Commission is seeking the views of all interested individuals and organisations. The consultation runs for eight weeks and addresses the main challenges and opportunities for Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The Commission will decide whether to propose future EU action in these fields by the end of 2011.

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