The constant technical development, in particular the planning of offshore wind farms, and the extension of the Federal Nature Conservation Act to the German Exclusive Economic Zone have intensified competition for marine space. A comprehensive management tool, spatial planning, therefore became necessary and spatial plans have thus been established for the German Exclusive Economic Zone.
However, nature protection concerns do not yet seem to be adequately taken into consideration in those plans. It is therefore questionable whether management of the marine space in Germany currently corresponds to the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EG), the Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (2014/89/EU) and the recommendations of regional cooperation formats (OSPAR / HELCOM). Especially the now mandatory application of the ecosystem approach seems to require an amendment of the plans.
Within the project, the instruments of spatial planning and possibilities of their operationalization for the protection of the marine environment will be discussed at first as well as the relationship between comprehensive spatial planning and sectoral planning. Then, it will be analysed how maritime spatial planning could contribute to the achievement of good environmental status in the marine environment in terms of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
In a next step, the implementation requirements of the Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (2014/89/EU) will be described. Existing initiatives will be checked for consistency with the ecosystem approach and concepts for its further implementation will be developed.
As a result of the project, guidelines will be prepared for an optimal and ecosystem-based integration of nature protection concerns in maritime spatial planning. By participating in workshops and conferences, the results of the project are continuously channelled into national and international spatial planning processes