The Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in the Western Mediterranean region project (SIMWESTMED) brings together a number of partners — research organisations, marine planning authorities and marine management bodies — who have extensive experience with regard to maritime planning, policy and management. SIMWESTMED focuses on the two key objectives stated in the call of proposal of DG Mare:

  • Support the implementation of the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning in Member States’ marine waters;
  • Launch and carry out concrete, cross-border MSP cooperation between Member States in the Western Mediterranean region, involving four Member States and the relevant authorities responsible for MSP in the selected area, the UNEP/MAP representation and the CPMR for the level of the Regions.

SIMWESTMED partners address both key objectives through a variety of approaches, including: literature and desktop research; future trend analysis; collaborative scenario development; practitioner/stakeholder interview; development of case studies; and stakeholder engagement mechanisms. Sub-themes relevant to both of the key objectives provide the context and scope for how each of the methodological elements will be used. Such subthemes include:

— Understanding current and potential future demands relevant to transboundary areas and issues;

— Development and testing of approaches to stakeholder engagement within marine planning processes in relation to transboundary areas and issues; and,

— Consideration of potential options for transboundary cooperation in preparing maritime spatial plans.

SIMWESTMED outputs are practitioner focused, and look to identify and share best practice on: technical, (e.g. data management), scientific (e.g. ecosystem based management), and social (e.g. stakeholder engagement processes) aspects of MSP implementation that address barriers to implementation of the MSP Directive and effective cooperation on transboundary working for MSP.