Baltic Sea management: Nature conservation and sustainable development of the ecosystem through spatial planning (BALANCE) (38432)

Project Details


BALANCE aimed to develop transnational marine spatial planning tools and an agreed template for marine management planning and decision-making. It was based on four transnational pilot areas demonstrating the economical and environmental value of habitat maps and marine spatial planning (exemplified through two zoning plans). The tools and zoning plans integrated biological, geological and oceanographic data with local knowledge from stakeholders. A "blue corridor" concept was developed and promoted, i.e. between protected sites adding spatial development dimensions to the implementation of EU Directives. As a part of this work it was assessed if the Baltic marine Natura 2000 network is ecologically coherent and adequately represents and protects a continuum of habitats. A communication strategy was developed for stakeholder involvement to ensure that objectives and decisions address local stakeholders’ needs.

Spatial planning tools included Baltic Sea marine landscapes presented in GIS maps, a holistic approach to marine habitat mapping integrating data on benthic, pelagic and fish habitats in four transnational pilot areas, development of habitat models for areas with little biological information, templates for zoning plans in two pilot areas, including planning guidelines and criteria to evaluate management success, meta-database for Baltic Sea marine data, outlining data formats, techniques and data availability for use by stakeholders in future planning, development of agreed protocols for habitat mapping based on intercalibration of existing national protocols, ensuring compatible data for future transnational mapping.

DTU Aqua was mainly involved in habitat modelling (coastal and pelagic fish habitats) and in development of marine spatial planning and management frameworks.

In addition to DTU Aqua, 23 partners were involved in the BALANCE project, i.e. representing governmental and non-governmental organizations and research institutes from the entire Baltic region in the fields of biology/ecology, fisheries and geology.

The project was coordinated by DTU Aqua.

Research area: Ecosystem Based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/01/200531/12/2007