United Nations
Blue Planning in Practice: Worldwide MSP training offer to enable ecosystem-based marine and coastal planning and management
by Blue Solutions (Partnership)
Capacity Development is a key element of the Blue Solutions Initiative. Through different formats and cooperation with various partner institutions, we seek to
... enhance capacities for scaling up success
... provide learning opportunities and trainings on Blue Solutions themes
... support policy processes to facilitate blue solutions.

Healthy and productive oceans and coasts provide vital services essential to human society. However, many of these services are declining due to increasing and often competing coastal activities and resource uses. The trend is amplified by uncoordinated sector policies and management. An integrated approach to policy implementation and ecosystem management across sectors is therefore essential to foster effective synergies across the three pillars of sustainable development.
Planners often face challenges in applying integrated management principles, e.g. the allocation of space and ecosystem services among different sectors and stakeholders at appropriate spatial scales. Blue Planning, i.e. ecosystem-based marine and coastal planning and management is regarded as a particularly useful approach to support integration of environment and resource management and governance priorities at local and national scales.

Training concept and content
The training is based on the Harvard Case Methodology, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical work by participants. Challenges, inspired by real-life conditions, take place in the fictitious country of Bakul, a case closely based on real-life conditions and challenges. The fictitious case allows participants to dive into a matter, free from their own work context and its biases.

Content wise the training course offers participants the opportunity to approach the following Blue Planning aspects:
1. Identification of need and process design
2. Development of shared vision, objectives and goals
3. Organization of stakeholder participation
4. Inventory and analysis of current and future conditions
5. Drafting and approving the spatial management plan
6. Implementation and enforcement
7. Monitoring, revision and adjustment

6 Blue Planning in Practice Trainings have already been conducted successfully in Brazil, Myanmar, Namibia, Turkmenistan, the Seychelles and Germany with over 120 participants.

If you are interested, please visit the following links to learn more:

Video on Marine Spatial Planning: https://vimeo.com/219515087
Factsheet on our Blue Planning in Pactice Training: https://bluesolutions.info/images/160826_BS_Factsheet_blueplan-1.pdf
Blue Planning in Practice Training Manual: https://bluesolutions.info/images/BPiP_ParticipantHandbook-REVISED-VERSION_180115.pdf
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Training and professional development
April 2018
Translation of training material in several languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Vietnamese)
April 2018
Blue Planning in Practice training in Vietnam
August 2018
Integration of the training course into the portfolio of at least 5 other international implementing organizations that are actively engaged in capacity development
March 2018
Blue Planning in Practice training in Ecuador
Staff / Technical expertise
Approx. 15 external and multilingual trainers
Basic information
Time-frame: 2013 - 2018
GIZ (other) GRID-Arendal (UN System) IUCN (NGO) UN Environment (UN System)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Decision makers, planners, practitioners & technical staff from governments, civil society, academia & the private sector from developing & emerging countries; national and intl. staff in intl. or regional coop. working in coastal & marine dev. projects
Contact information
Ilona Porsche, Head of Project, ilona.porsche@giz.de,
Other SDGs
United Nations