Maritime And Coastal Spatial Planning: The Case Of Greece And The Mediterranean
Free (open access)
3 - 17
E. Beriatos & M. Papageorgiou
Maritime and coastal areas play an important role in the development of human activities and are a substantial influence on the economies of their respective hinterlands. Seas and coasts are among the most complex, vulnerable and sensitive to all natural ecosystems, and their management presents various problems and difficulties especially in our era of climate change in which coastal cities and populations face a range of serious threats (including rising sea levels). The singularity of these areas necessitates an equally singular handling of the issues of their land development and management. At the start of the 21st century the critical issue of the spatial regulation and organization of the seas and coasts is a key priority for Greece and the Mediterranean in the era of climate change. There can be no doubt that the Mediterranean’s coastal and marine areas are facing ever greater risks from natural disasters and human pressures alike. Given the experience of EU and UN programs and projects initiated and run by other international organizations which have shown that implementing sustainable spatial development in the coasts and seas is anything but easy, there is clearly a great need for coordinated action and co-operation at the transnational and international level. During the past decade the EU has adopted a strategy for the maritime environment which was incorporated in an Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) (a European vision for the seas and the oceans). In the framework of the above policy the Commission launched in 2008 a road map for the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) as the basic means for the implementation of the (IMP) and a fundamental tool for the sustainable development of the European seas and coasts.