A project of BONUS research programme “Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Ecosystem Services” (BONUS BASMATI).

The overall objective of BONUS BASMATI was to develop integrated and innovative solutions for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) from a local to a Baltic Sea Region scale. This has been pursued by means of multi-level governance structures and interactive information technology aiming at developing an ecologically and socio-economically sound network of protected marine areas. The project analysed governance systems and their information needs regarding MSP in the Baltic Sea region in order to develop an operational, transnational model for MSP. To facilitate broad access to information and to foster collaboration among MSP authorities and stakeholders, a suite of methods and tools to enable MSP was developed. Included in the suite are concepts for the assessments of plan-proposals, the Baltic Explorer platform for collaborative planning, and specific spatial decision support tools.

Funded by: funding from BONUS (art. 185), funded jointly by the EU, Innovation Fund Denmark, Swedish Research Council Formas, Academy of Finland, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science and Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany).

Project implementation time: 09.2017.-09.2020.

Project website:

In the project, MSP was studied on the practical level at various spatial scales in three case studies. The Latvian case study focused on an integrated assessment of ecosystem services provided by marine seabed (benthic) habitats. It developed a concept of using the ecosystem service assessment to support designation of marine protected areas (MPA) as well as an ecosystem service supply assessment tool ESA4MSP for the decision support. The ecosystem service supply assessment served as an input for a socio-economic assessment of benefits and values of the ecosystem services, which together with the graphic illustration of ecosystem services supply aims to support the future designation of new MPA and MSP in general.

Based on a sub-contract with the project partner Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, AKTiiVS (Kristīne Pakalniete) was involved in the Latvian case study for the socio-economic assessment of ecosystem services provided by the marine benthic habitats and the assessment of welfare impacts of alternative sea use and MPA size scenarios. The work involved developing the assessment approach and quantitative and monetary assessments of benefits from the ecosystem services, their spatial distribution, socioeconomic impacts of policy scenarios related to establishing new MPA and MSP.

Figure: From the marine ecosystem components to human benefits – an example of the recreational ecosystem service. Source: BONUS BASMATI project, the Latvian case study.

For the results of the BONUS BASMATI project see the project’s website

Relevant references:

Arki, V., Ajanko, J., Luhtala, H., Tolvanen, H. (eds.) (2020) BONUS BASMATI – Supporting maritime spatial planning with science. BONUS BASMATI summary report, Deliverable 7.7. Available here.  

Armoskaite A., Puriņa I., Aigars J., Strāķe S., Pakalniete K., Frederiksen P., Schroeder L., Hansen H.S. (2020) Establishing the links between marine ecosystem components, functions and services: An ecosystem service assessment tool. Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol.193(2020), 105229,  Pakalniete K., Ahtiainen H., Aigars J., Andersone I., Armoškaite A., Hansen S.H., Strāķe S. (2021) Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Service Benefits and Welfare Impacts of Offshore Marine Protected Areas: A Study from the Baltic Sea. Sustainability, 2021, 13, 10121.

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