The joint Latvian Embassy in Finland and BONUS seminar on maritime spatial planning concluded

His Excellency, the Latvian Ambassador Mr. Ugis Bambe opened the joint Latvian and Finnish Seminar on Maritime Spatial Planning as an event organised jointly with BONUS under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union earlier today at the premises of Hakaniemenranta 6, Helsinki. Executive Director Ms. Kaisa Kononen from the BONUS Secretariat welcomed the guests on behalf of BONUS.

The seminar was moderated by Programme Manager Mr. Andris Andrusaitis of the BONUS Secretariat and attended by 50 participants from different embassies around the Baltic Sea, representatives from the scientific communities, NGOs, country municipalities and other interested stakeholders of Finland and Latvia.  

The seminar focused on the current breath of maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea macroregion.

The first presentations addressing the entire macroregion were provided on VASAB, Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea by Head of the VASAB Secretariat Mr. Tālis Linkaits, and the HELCOM-VASAB working group by the Assisting Professional Secretary of the HELCOM Secretariat, Ms. Laura Meski.

Overviews of the current maritime spatial planning development from the particular perspectives of the national settings were provided by the Ministerial Adviser Ms. Tiina Tihlman from the Department of the Built Environment, Ministry of the Environment of Finland and Director Ms. Inguna Urtāne from the Spatial Planning Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia.

Ms. Kristina Veidemane from the Baltic Environmental Forum, Latvia presented on the impressive stakeholder involvement initiative established in the process of developing the Maritime Spatial Plan of Latvian waters.

The seminar was concluded by a presentation from Research Professor Mr. Markku Viitasalo of the Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute.  He discussed the EU advancements in integration efforts related to the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive which are guided very much by the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 calling for EU member states to map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territory.

Presentations of the seminar:

Talis Linkaits, VASAB Secretariat

Laura Meski, HELCOM Secretariat

Tiina Tihlman, Ministry of the Environment of Finland

Inguna Urtāne, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia

Kristina Veidemane, Baltic Environmental Forum, Latvia

Markku Viitasalo, Finnish Environment Institute

MSP seminar 20.5.2015