Evaluation of the participatory process of Finnish maritime spatial planning (2017-2021) and development proposals – Take part in the survey!

The Maritime Spatial Planning Coordination is launching an evaluation of the participation for the first round of the Finnish Maritime Spatial Planning (2017-2021). The aim is to assess the coverage of participation in the maritime spatial planning (MSP) process at national, regional and local level, the extent to which the sectors and their activities are coordinated in MSP, and the extent to which equality in MSP and the Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 for Finland is achieved. The assessment and development proposals to be carried out will also aim to support the preparation of the MSP Interaction Plan for the second MSP planning cycle 2024-2028.

The strategic Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 for Finland is in force. The digital plan can be found at www.merialuesuunnitelma.fi (FI, SV, EN).  The Plan has been prepared in three parts in three different planning areas: 1) Gulf of Finland, 2) Archipelago Sea and Southern Bothnian Sea, and 3) Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay. The planning decisions were made in comprehensive and wide-ranging collaboration with stakeholders along the entire coast, and they take into consideration the special characteristics of each area. The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the overall development and guidance of MSP and intergovernmental cooperation.

The purpose of MSP is to promote the sustainable development and growth of different uses of the marine area, the sustainable use of natural resources, and the achievement of a good status of the marine environment. MSP takes into account the following sectors: preservation, conservation and improvement of marine nature, energy sectors, maritime transport including ports, tourism and recreation, fisheries and aquaculture, maritime industries, blue biotechnology, extractive industries, cultural heritage and national defence. MSP examines and reconciles the needs of the maritime sectors. The maritime spatial plan identifies the needs of the marine environment, and the wellbeing of maritime actors equally, without placing them in an order of importance. The sectors examined have different societal and community values, which the plan seeks to foster. For more information, see www.merialuesuunnittelu.fi.

MSP applies the ecosystem-based approach. It aims to be a collaborative process, using platforms for cooperation to build social capital to understand the systemic whole and to integrate it into the culture of maritime activities.

The background, objectives and methodology for participation in the first round of MSP were described in the public MSP Interaction Plan.

In the ongoing second planning cycle, the European Green Deal (2019) and its commitment to “a green transition that is just, fair and leaves no man or place behind” will also guide MSP. Comprehensive, fair and timely interaction is a prerequisite for successful stakeholder engagement and the MSP’s objective to strengthen the psychological ownership of the Maritime Spatial Plan by stakeholders.

Take part in the survey and make a difference!

The survey explores the views and experiences of MSP stakeholders on their involvement in the first MSP round.

In addition to the survey, an evaluation of participation will be developed through expert interviews and an independent evaluation done by the consultant. The project will be steered by a working group with representatives from the coastal regional councils and the Ministry of the Environment. The consultant for the project is WSP Finland Oy. The work is expected to be completed in April 2024.

We hope you can contribute to the assessment of the participatory process of MSP and thus support the preparation of an improved MSP Interaction Plan. The questionnaire will be open from 1 to 19 February 2024.

Responding to the questionnaire: Link (In Finnish and in Swedish)

A warm thank you in advance for your participation in the evaluation!



Heikki Saarento ja Mari Pohja-Mykrä

On behalf of the Finnish MSP Coordination Group