Plan­ning Au­thor­ity to part­ner re­gional agen­cies in €2m mar­itime spa­tial plan­ning project

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The SIMWESTMED project which the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity is a joint part­ner of has been cho­sen by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Ex­ec­u­tive Agency for small and medium-sized en­ter­prises to carry out an EU-funded project on Mar­itime Spa­tial Plan­ning, the PA said in a state­ment.

The project, en­ti­tled ‘Sup­port­ing Im­ple­men­ta­tion of Mar­itime Spa­tial Plan­ning in the Western Mediter­ranean Re­gion’ (SIMWESTMED) will re­ceive over €2 mil­lion un­der the the Euro­pean Mar­itime and Fish­eries Fund.

The project which is be­ing led by the French Hy­dro­graphic Ser­vices SHOM in part­ner­ship with 14 other re­gional part­ners in­clud­ing MSP com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties and na­tional re­search in­sti­tutes, will sup­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Di­rec­tive on Mar­itime Spa­tial Plan­ning in mem­ber states’ ma­rine wa­ters and carry out con­crete, cross-bor­der co­op­er­a­tion ini­tia­tives be­tween mem­ber states in the Western Mediter­ranean re­gion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion from UNEP/MAP re­spon­si­ble for In­te­grated Coastal Zone Man­age­ment and the Com­mit­tee for Pe­riph­eral Mar­itime Re­gions.

Michelle Borg, Man­ager for the Green and Blue Devel­op­ment Unit within the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity said “our in­ter­est as a joint part­ner in the SIMWESTMED project is par­tic­u­larly linked with our re­spon­si­bil­ity as na­tional com­pe­tent au­thor­ity for MSP to im­prove our un­der­stand­ing of cur­rent and po­ten­tial fu­ture de­mands on mar­itime space and re­sources within the Mediter­ranean. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is ex­pected to as­sist us to iden­tify and de­velop mech­a­nisms for trans­bound­ary co-op­er­a­tion, sup­port na­tional ef­forts for pol­icy devel­op­ment, de­ci­sion mak­ing, data man­age­ment and shar­ing, as well as build ca­pac­ity to im­ple­ment Mar­itime Spa­tial Plan­ning ef­fec­tively.”

Ms Borg added that “this project is a unique op­por­tu­nity for the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity to broaden its knowl­edge and ex­per­tise in Mar­itime Spa­tial Plan­ning with a view to ex­plore the spa­tial de­mands and fu­ture trends for mar­itime sec­tors and ma­rine con­ser­va­tion. It will also aid the devel­op­ment of tools and meth­ods to sup­port the MSP process with stake­holder en­gage­ment at the lo­cal level. The out­come of this project is ex­pected to pro­vide an­other suc­cess­ful mile­stone in the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity’s work to­wards sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.”

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