Plan Bothnia work presented to the HELCOM Maritime group

18/11/2011 at 10:39 | Posted in event | Leave a comment
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Wednesday this week the Plan Bothnia project was presented to the tenth annual meeting of the HELCOM MARITIME group at the premises of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, Helsinki. Project Staff Ms. Annukka Pekkarinen (Centre for Maritime Studies, Turku University) and Mr. Hermanni Backer (Project Manager) had a presentation on overall progress as well as the maritime traffic chapter, written by Centre for Maritime Studies. The group welcomed the work done without remarks.


Since the early 1980s, HELCOM MARITIME and its precedessors (Maritime Committee, Maritime WG) have been dealing with Maritime activities in the Baltic Sea.

The HELCOM MARITIME group is attended by ministries and agencies responsible for maritime traffic matters in the Baltic Sea countries, and the EU commission (DG MOVE). A number of sub-groups discuss special issues like AIS information, safety of navigation and various IMO submissions.

Plan Bothnia in Lisbon – planning on the Sea of Colors

07/11/2011 at 18:51 | Posted in event | Leave a comment
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Last week we attended a workshop on Maritime Spatial Planning organized jointly between HELCOM/VASAB, ICES and OSPAR in Lisbon, Portugal

The first day 17 meeting participants contributed to the Plan Bothnia project by doing a hands-on planning exercise. We also got input through general  comments to the project activities as presented by us (Project Manager Hermanni Backer and Project Officer Manuel Frias).


Transparencies and paper maps used for the planning exercise

After initial presentations and discussions the participants were divided in two groups (North and South Bothnian Sea) and were asked to draw on a map a plan taking into account important areas for nature protection, fisheries, marine traffic, wind power areas, etc.

Both groups came up with maps, comments and suggestions that will be very valuable for our project. Thank you again to the participants!

Planning the Sea of Colors

Presenting the results of the Sea of Colors game

The second day of the workshop consisted of a so called “serious game” -very well organized  by the University of Delft. All participants were given the roles of different actors in MSP (stakeholders, planners…) and had to develop a Marine Spatial Plan in one day on an area called “the sea of colors” resembling the Kattegat area. The result was a challenging and fun experience. We made the following observations from the game :

  • The planning process you adopt determines to a large degree the outcome
  • Openness and transparency is a good thing (at least with cooperative participants/stakeholders like we did in our “countries”)
  • Many elements fall in place early in the process
  • Planning is an activity which has a large potential for creative chaos!

Plan Bothnia steaming ahead – Planning meeting 3 and Dissemination event 1 completed!

24/10/2011 at 16:33 | Posted in meeting | Leave a comment
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Last week Wednesday and Thursday (October 19. & 20.) the Plan Bothnia project organised its third MSP planning meeting (Plan Bothnia MSP3). Over thirty participants from regional and national authorities in Sweden and Finland attended the meeting hosted by the project lead partner HELCOM Secretariat (Helsinki, Finland). The participants had available map and text material pre-compiled by the Plan Bothnia partners on the different human activities and natural features.


map and pen


Armed by maps, pens and transparent paper the participants filled the HELCOM office with creativity and enthusiasm. During the two days the participants worked hands-on in groups divided according to the different activities taking place in the Bothnian Sea. This work contributed to finalising a set of interest maps for planning purposes. The final results will be made available through the project map service as well as the Bothnian Sea MSP Assessment to be submitted to EU Commission (DG MARE) by February 2012.


The final interest maps, alongside background maps on physical features and various sectoral targets/objectives, will be the necessary material for the process of drafting MSP plans to be drafted during remaining 2011. Results will be submitted to the next MSP meeting, to take place 25.-26. January in Sweden, further details of which will be announced later.


The MSP 3 meeting in Helsinki provided for intensive discussions as well as new insights into the activities and interactions taking place in the planning area. Especially many interactions seem to take place in the banks area in the South-West (Swedish waters), South-East part along the Finnish and Åland coast, as well as within the two Quarks in the northern and southern extremity of the basin. The activities within these areas require particularly close scruting.


MapsMaps and tablet











In September 27th the Project held also an open dissemination event attended by nearly thirty interested participants from seven different Baltic Sea countries. The participants were presented the present status and achievements of the project. This included the map service and the collected GIS data as well as the consultancy study on MSP best practices and minimum requirements presently under drafting by Mr. Jacek Zaucha and Mr. Bernhard Heindrichs.


These two meetings have worked as important milestones and created solid ground for the final phase of the project, focusing on drafting a Plan Bothnia MSP plan. This will enroll during the remaining seven months of the project. The excitement is really getting denser and the project products more beautiful… so it is worth to keep tuned to Plan Bothnia!

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