Seas and Oceans: EC action

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th November 2007.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, COM(2007) 575 final, whether there are any differences between the Commission's use of the concept of maritime spatial planning and his Department's use of the concept of marine spatial planning in the Marine Bill White Paper; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We see no substantial differences between the two concepts. Indeed, we agree with the concept within the Integrated Maritime Policy that marine spatial planning is a key tool for improving the sustainable development and restoration of marine and coastal areas. As we set out in the proposals in the Marine Bill White Paper in March 2007, marine planning will clarify our marine objectives and priorities for the future, and direct decision-makers and users towards more efficient, sustainable use and protection of our marine resources.

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