Sweden and Finland

Sweden and Finland

Sweden and FinlandBothnian Sea Trans-boundary Pilot Project

The Bothnian Sea is a clearly defined sub-basin of the Baltic Sea shared by Sweden and Finland, two countries with similar governance structures, practices, and views on planning. However, since neither country currently does any planning in its own EEZ, this pilot project definitely enters new territory. Both countries have a planning system that applies only to the territorial sea. Both countries have sectoral ministries that are responsible for their individual sectors such as fishing, marine transport, and military activities.

Both countries share similar drivers for MSP, e.g., offshore wind energy, fishing, nature protection, and concerns about degraded environmental quality, especially eutrophication. Sweden has ambitious plans for offshore wind farms for 2020. Because of its recent investment in nuclear power, Finland has less interest in offshore renewable energy. Significant interactions occur across the border, e.g., Finnish fisheries are active in Swedish waters, and vice versa.

The surface area of the Bothnian Sea is approximately 65,000 km2. The planning area the offshore waters of the Bothnian sea from one nm from the baseline.

The Plan Bothnia project, coordinated by the HELCOM Secretariat in Helsinki, Finland, was an EU Integrated Maritime Policy “preparatory action” funded by EU Commission DG MARE with a budget of 500,000 euros and ran 18 months between December 2010 and June 2012.

Sweden and Finland

A book (Backer & Frias 2012) has been published through the project that introduces the Bothnian Sea and ideas around MSP for its offshore areas. It describes the Bothnian Sea’s coasts, shorelines, industries, its people who live and work on its waters, and the wildlife their habitats, and other nature features of this special place. The planning systems of both Sweden and Finland are described—both how they deal with marine planning today and how it might change in the future. The book finishes with a pilot marine spatial plan with a planning horizon of about 15 years.



Plan Bothnia Project