Workshop: Environment and Nature Protection

As the environmental pillar of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Maritime Strategy Framework Directive sets the goal of achieving ‘Good Environmental Status‘ of marine waters by 2020. MSP is viewed as one of the measures to achieve this goal. But there are still a lot of unknowns, in particular in regard to the interlinkages between habitats, species (especially fish) and the impacts of human uses. Aside from the traditional approach of establishing nature protection areas, other spatially applicable environmental measures such as the “blue corridor” concept are not yet sufficiently developed.

Title: Workshop on environmental and nature conservation issues within context of maritime spatial planning
Date:  31 October – 1 November 2013
Location: Riga, Latvia
Host: Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LHEI)
Contact: Elina Veidemane
Downloads: Agenda, Summary report of the workshop


  • The Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s aim is to achieve or maintain a good environmental status by 2020 at the latest. In order to achieve this objective the EU Member States have to develop Marine Strategies with Action Plans which apply an ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities.
  • Our knowledge is not sufficient to fully understand the influence of human activities on the common marine ecosystem. That is why we need to act according to the ecosystem approach when planning human activities in the marine space, so as to maintain/achieve good environmental status (GES).
  • We need to understand that human actions (e.g. waste water) on terrestrial parts of the word have a huge impact on the marine environment. An important factor of the condition of the marine environment are the rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea basin. To reach good environmental status in the sea it is important to evaluate the quality of the water in these rivers.


  • Discuss the environmental problems and main policy objectives set by Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the Habitats and Birds Directives, which could be addressed within marine spatial planning.
  • Give examples of initiatives for achieving these objectives.