Following the statement made at COP18 that “marine spatial planning was a significant avenue to be explored for the future of MAP and in particular for the implementation of the ICZM Protocol”, PAP/RAC and the University of Thessaly in Greece have launched a pilot project entitled “Paving the Road to Marine Spatial Planning in the Mediterranean“. The project intends to facilitate the implementation of the ICZM Protocol, in particular with regard to its provision for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), by developing methodological tools, proposing possible co-operation/management schemes and identifying prerequisites and possible ways to deal with challenges, in an effort to assist the CPs to meet the common objectives of integrated marine spatial planning and management.
The Inception Meeting of the project took place on 30 January 2015, at the premises of the Technical Chamber of Greece in Athens. Around 30 participants attended the meeting. All members of the core team were present as well as experts from the co-operating partners: Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC), Region of the Ionian Islands and the HCMR. One must mention the strong team from the Directorate of Spatial Planning of MEECC (recently renamed as Ministry of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy - MPREE), as well as the representatives of authorities from the Region of the Ionian Islands and the Marine Park of Zakynthos. UNEP/MAP and PAP/RAC were represented by the UNEP/MAP Programme Officer following the ICZM issues.