In May 2013 the HELCOM Secretariat received an unexpected email from Vietnam, asking for permission to translate the book “Planning the Bothnian Sea” to Vietnamese. The book, the final report of a HELCOM-led project on planning the future of the offshore Bothnian Sea, a part of northern Baltic Sea situated between Åland Islands and the Quark (Umeå-Vasa), had been released a year earlier. The initiative has been part of HELCOMs efforts to develop transboundary ecosystem based maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the region in cooperation with VASAB, another regional organization.
Even if the book had already received international recognition for its substance and particularly for its design, most of the attention so far had been European. We were charmed by this sudden overseas interest and naturally replied positively.
Five months later, in October 2013, we were quite astonished when we received an email with a complete Vietnamese version of the book. Every single word and graph on the 153 original pages had been meticulously translated. The effort and devotion that our distant colleagues had spent on our publication exceeded all our expectations. Find the Vietnamese version of “Planning the Bothnian Sea” here.
After the initial excitement had worn off we quickly developed a curiosity on the purpose behind the translation. To find out more we decided to ask one of the Vietnamese translators, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai, some questions about why they thought it worthwhile to make the book, about planning in a far-away northern sea, available also to Vietnamese readers.
Here are his answers:
Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai and I am the Deputy Director of Department of Sustainable Development and Response to Climate Change at the Development Strategy Institute (DSI), under the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam.
Our offices are in central Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, on 65 Văn Miếu street –just across the street from the Temple of Literature, which was considered as the first national university in Vietnam.
How are your tasks related to Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)? Why and how is Vietnam working with MSP?
The main duty of my Institute, DSI, is to make socio-economic master plans and national strategy for the whole territory of Vietnam for the 10-year period, recently including also sea areas. MSP is considered as a part of this socio-economic master planning. MSP is a new tool in Vietnam and we are currently developing our own approach to planning at sea, both from a practical and a theoretical point of view. Moreover, my institute was assigned to build the Vietnamese marine strategy up to 2020. So, your material is necessary for my Institute as a reference, especially for the next update of it.
How did get to know the project Plan Bothnia and the book “Planning the Bothnian Sea”?
This happened completely by accident -at a short course in Sweden on strategic environmental assessment (SEA) supported SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). Mr. Jan Schmidtbauer-Crona from the Swedish Water and Marine Management Agency (SWAM) gave me the book after his presentation on SEA and MSP.
Why did you want to translate the book?
At the course in Sweden I realized that “Planning the Bothnian Sea” could be good reference for our national MSP work in Vietnam -and decided to translate it to Vietnamese. Translation was necessary so that also those without good English skills can read the text.
How long did it take to translate it? What was the biggest challenge doing it?
It took me and my colleague Pham Minh Hien around two months to translate the book. I did not have any great troubles in translating, except in the case of some abbreviated words in the Annex.
How do you intend to use it?
I will publish the Vietnamese version on DSI’s website. In this way everyone in Vietnam has the possibility to study the Plan Bothnia initiative and its methodology.
What is the most important lesson you learnt from the book?
I think several features of the MSP presented in the book are interesting. First of all, it is an example of plan making using an ecological approach. Secondly, it highlights that this kind of MSP becomes reality only when participating countries have same purpose and will. Overall it presents to us valuable European experiences in carrying out MSP. Me and my colleagues hope that in the future we can use the Plan Bothnia experiences in a Vietnamese MSP context.
Did you know HELCOM or MSP cooperation in the Baltic Sea before you translated the book? Do you have international cooperation on MSP with your neighboring countries in your sea areas, and how does it work?
I knew a little bit about HELCOMs work in the Baltic Sea before translating but the picture is much clearer now. Until now I or my Institute has not had any international cooperation concerning MSP with our neighboring countries. It seems MSP cooperation needs to be promoted more in our own region.
Pictures: Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai (left), Mr. Pham Minh Hien (right)
With some nostalgy I just want to inform you all that Plan Bothnia, the DG MARE funded MSP preparatory action for the Baltic Sea (2010-2012), has completed its work on 1. June 2012.
During the 18 project months we achieved to complete a successful and we believe a state-of-the-art test of comprehensive and transboundary MSP in the Baltic Sea. This was created as a joint product between competent planning authorities from both sides of the Finnish-Swedish border and is thus anchored to the real life work of MSP planners in two separate countries. This makes this practical initiative different from the many theoretical MSP research projects in the Baltic, around Europe and the world.
The summary publication released during the European Maritime Day 2012 in Gothenburg (21.-22. May) gives you a possibility to dive into the topic of transboundary MSP with a concrete, and hopefully inspiring example.
The plan publication includes also commentaries by five international experts on MSP, our peer reviewers, who reflect on the contribution of the Plan Bothnia project to other sea areas ranging from Australia, US, Canada as well as more close waters around Spain and the UK.
(UPDATE 24.9.2012) Please note that we are working on the online pdf version. Our graphic designers have to make some minor corrections to the file according to observations made after the release of the hard copy version. We will make a final post with the link when available.
In the meanwhile please contact us for a hard copy if you are interested in the end product.
The followers of Plan Bothnia might have noticed that no blogposts have rolled in lately. This is not indicating that we at the Lead Partner (HELCOM Secretariat) have been standing still. In contrast, it means that we have been all tied up to finalise our initiative!
At the concluding Plan Bothnia MSP 5 meeting in Vasa 19.-21. March we managed to wrap up many of the remaining loose strands. The twenty participants gave their best to complete the Plan Bothnia MSP plan as well as looked at the final publication. We had also a joint session with SeaGis -a MSP project which has recently started in the Quark area -northern Bothnian Sea.
After the meeting we have been compiling our final publication for print. With close to a hundred maps and a complex text this publication has been, and still remains for a few weeks, a truly exiting and challenging task.
During these short weeks our partners have provided input and comments. Our graphics team has been churning out visualisations based on our directions. Our critical review team of MSP experts around the world have given us good comments on the text. Our language editor has been busy. In short this has been a busy period for our project.
But all good things come to an end -and so does Plan Bothnia. After we finish our work with the publication we start steering in to the final harbour- the Final conference in Gothenburg. Or actually final conferences as there will be two opportunities to reflect on our project.
As mentioned, we will have a 1,5h session with MASPNOSE during stakeholder part of the European maritime Day (22.May 2012) which will focus on general lessons learned on transboundary MSP.
The day after, the 23rd may we will organise a full day of MSP in Gothenburg which will not only present our findings in more detail, but importantly also take a look at the future of MSP in Sweden and Europe. Programme and registration will follow shortly.
Welcome to discuss -and collect your example of the Plan Bothnia pilot plan. Book your calendars!
A piece of Plan Bothnia planning area-relevant news:
A two km long and 600 m wide slick consisting of raw pine oil has been moving east from Söderhamn in Swedish coast of the Bothnian Sea since 20 December. The slick will likely hit the Pori coast during the coming night.
Approximately a quarter of the estimated 0.8 Million liter leak has been recovered by the Swedish authorities. It seems Finnish assistance offshore has been made difficult by the storm Dagmar, blowing with full force over the area last night.
The slick originates from a container on land within the worlds largest pine oil refinery in Sandarne, close to Söderhamn on the Swedish coast. The facility is owned by the U.S. based Arizona Chemicals Ltd.
Pine oil is a thick destillate from pine debris like needles, twigs and cones with various industrial and household uses (e.g. pine soap). It smears e.g. birds like mineral oil and is toxic at least to smaller forms of life.
After a year full of MSP, meetings and reporting it sure is good to focus on some other things for a while…
We will be back for more MSP in 2012!
Hermanni Backer (Project Manager)
The Plan Bothnia project includes as a deliverable (Deliverable 5.2.4) a study on “Region-wide recommendations on minimum requirements for MSP systems” coordinated by Plan Bothnia project partner VASAB secretariat. This will be carried out in two parts -Part I: Minimum requirements for MSP in the Baltic Sea and Part II: Methodology for identifying best MSP practices. The final result will be published as a part of the Plan Bothnia final report.
The selected experts, Dr. Bernhard Heinrichs (Part I) and Dr. Jacek Zaucha (Part II) submitted first concept drafts according to the contract by the end of July 2011. These documents were posted i.a. on this blog with a request for comments (see our post dated 27 July 2011).
Based on the input received the consultants have now drafted more complete versions which are open for another round of comments. The second draft files received are available from the folder “Consultancy study on Minimum requirements -Best practices” of the Plan Bothnia Document library accessible through the tab “Documents”at the Plan Bothnia website.
Commenting on these drafts is open for all interested parties until 15 January 2012. Comment directly on this blogpost or, preferably, send comments via email as indicated on the front page of the documents (both to consultants and project partners)
The received comments will be used to create the last draft versions by mid-February, to be summarised in the Final Project report.
The final outcome of the Plan Bothnia MSP3 meeting in Helsinki (19.-20. October 2011), as well as presentations, are now available through the MSP3 meeting folder in the project document library. Thank you for all the comments and input received from meeting participants!
The invitation and agenda for the next meeting, scheduled to take place 25 & 26 january 2012 in Sweden (venue tbc), will be sent shortly and posted on the document library.
Progress of the Plan Bothnia project was presented by Project Manager to all EU member state representatives on wednesday 21 September at the 10th meeting of the Member State Expert group on Maritime Policy (CC Albert Borchette, Rue Froissart, Brussels, Belgium) under the topic “update on Maritime Spatial Planning” (by DG MARE unit E1).
The expert group is the forum for information exchange on the EU Integrated Maritime Policy between the EU Commission DG MARE and the Member state representatives. Besides MSP the agenda covered the Adriatic-Ionian basin Maritime strategy, the EMODnet initiative and a study on costs and benefits on EEZs in the Mediterranean.
The response to our project was positive- hope this raises further interest in our exciting initiative across the EU!
The Plan Bothnia project includes as a deliverable (Deliverable 5.2.4) a study on Region-wide recommendations on minimum requirements for MSP systems coordinated by Plan Bothnia project partner VASAB secretariat. This will be carried out in two parts -Part I: Minimum requirements for MSP in the Baltic Sea and Part II: Methodology for identifying best MSP practices. The final result will be published as a part of the Plan Bothnia final report.
After examining proposals received to the public call for tenders, launched by VASAB secretariat on 10th May 2011, Dr. Bernhard Heinrichs (Part I) and Dr. Jacek Zaucha (Part II) were contracted on June 2011 to carry out this study. These experts submitted first concept drafts according to the contract by the end of July 2011.
The first concept draft files received are available from the folder “Consultancy study on Minimum requirements -Best practices” of the Plan Bothnia Document library accessible through the tab “Documents”at the Plan Bothnia website.
The consultants and project partners would appreciate your comments on these draft documents to develop them further. Please see instructions on the cover page of the documents.
Commenting on these first concept drafts is open for all interested parties until 15 August 2011. The received written comments will be also added to the same folder in the document library as the draft files.
The received comments will be used by the consultants for new versions to be available by the end of September 2011 for i.a the next HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG meeting. Commenting on later versions will be announced separately.
During July PLAN BOTHNIA has featured prominently in at least two daily newspapers.
A frontpage piece “Bottenhavet skall få en unik maritim plan” (The Bothnian sea will get a unique maritime plan) by Titte Törnroth-Sarkkinen was published 6 July in the Åland Islands daily newspaper “Nya Åland“.
Another article “Luontoäidin palveluihin liittyy suuria taloudellisia arvoja” (The services of Mother Earth are connected with great economic values) by Jarmo Wallenius was published online 5 July in Finlands third largest newspaper “Turun Sanomat“.