News on the revision of the maritime spatial plans
In 2009, the first maritime spatial plans for the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the North Sea and Baltic Sea came into force. Since then, conditions and spatial demands changed considerably. Uses such as offshore wind energy are developing more rapidly than anticipated, while demands from traditional uses, such as shipping and fisheries are not diminishing. The sea is also increasingly being used for transboundary infrastructure (cables, pipelines).
The BSH looks back on 10 years of experience with MSP. It provided a reliable framework for the uses in the EEZ and had a particular impact – also via the sectoral planning – on the expansion of offshore wind energy. With the approval of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI), the BSH carries out the preparatory procedural steps for preparing the maritime spatial plans for the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany. The revision of the current maritime spatial plans was initiated in June 2019.
According to § 8 ROG, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the maritime spatial plan is required. This involves preparing an environmental report that describes and assesses the likely significant impacts of implementing the maritime spatial plan on the marine environment. At the beginning of the SEA process, the content, scope and level of detail of the environmental report are defined within the scope of the assessment. In addition, a status report on spatial planning has been drawn up.
The BSH has planned the following steps for the revision process:
The Federal Ministry of the Interior started the revision of the spatial plans by informing the public and the concerned public bodies about the revision process pursuant to § 9 para. 1 ROG. Public authorities had the opportunity to provide information on the plans and measures they intend to take or have already taken, as well as on the time schedule for their implementation, and to make relevant information available.
From September to December 2019, the BSH conducted various thematic workshops and expert discussions on the topics of shipping, nature conservation, fisheries, underwater cultural heritage, defence and raw materials.
Taking into account the information received and the results of the workshops and expert discussions, the BSH has drawn up a concept for the revision of the maritime spatial plans. The concept considers three planning options with different areas of focus at an early stage in the revision process. At the same time, the draft scope of the environmental assessment was prepared.
Within the national process, a public hearing to discuss the concept and scope of the environmental assessment will be held on 18-19 March 2020.
International Consultation (ESPOO)
The international consultation of the spatial plans for the German EEZ is in an early stage. Details and information on the international consultation procedures can be found in the notification document. The notification document also includes information on the formal procedures (ESPOO) such as timelines and conditions for participation.