Management plans

One of the most crucial tasks of the project is elaboration of the management plans and individual protection proposals for selected project sites. The Baltic States so far had almost no experience in development of marine management plans. Furthermore, the existing national legal requirements are mainly focused on terrestrial areas. Therefore project is supposed to come up with conceptual proposal on the management plan development for MPAs in the Baltic States and apply the chosen approach for the selected project sites.

As result from discussions with competent authorities the project partners have selected following areas for elaboration of the management plans: Estonia: Wäinameri (3 EST) and West Saaremaa (4 EST); Latvia: West Coast of Gulf of Riga (8 LAT); Irbe Strait (9 LAT); Nida-P─ôrkone (11 LAT); Lithuania: Palanga (12 LIT); Neringa (13 LIT)

Information to be included in the management plans as well as precise borders of the sites depends on the results of inventories and threat assessment, carried out by the other project actions. Therefore elaboration of the management plans for selected sites will start only around the end 2007/beginning 2008, when results of inventories will be available.

Management plan development in each country will follow the procedures laid down in the national legislation. However the overall process of data gathering, threat assessment, setting of management and conservation objectives, zoning (particularly in trans-boundary areas) and defining the indicators for monitoring will be co-ordinated between the countries.

Project is planning to have specific focus on stakeholder’s involvement in management plan development. Basic procedure for stakeholders’ involvement is set in national regulations, but they not always guarantee active participation of all interested parties. Moreover, development of marine management plans might require different approaches comparing to those usually applied in the terrestrial areas, as marine areas involves different kind of stakeholders (e.g. fishery, port administrations, renewable energy associations, etc.) and bigger economic interests. Therefore, additional efforts will be made in order to reach all stakeholders groups, insure their participation in development of the plan, increase their acceptance of the applied measures and later contribution to its implementation.

When the plans will be developed and discussed with all stakeholders groups, they will be submitted to national authorities. In all three Baltic countries management plans shall be approved by the Minister of Environment.
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