Maritime spatial plan rejected due to lack of environmental protection

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Ferries at Tallinn's harbor. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Ministry of the Environment is refusing to approve the maritime spatial plan submitted by the Ministry of Finance as the aim of protecting the environment has not been pushed to one side.

The Ministry of the Environment sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance and said basic proposals submitted about environmental protection had not been taken into account.

"One of the goals of the plan - to protect, preserve and improve the environment - has been relegated to the background during the process, and in addition to mapping the various uses of the sea, maritime spatial planning should also contribute to achieving good environmental status in the Baltic Sea," wrote Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment Harry Liiv.

It was pointed out that the documents do not even take into account the Baltic Sea Environmental Protection Convention or the Habitats and Birds Directives.

The Ministry of Environment said the planning process should be based on a "holistic vision" and take into account the natural constraints of the marine environment. However, the plans say marine environmental protection activities should only be carried out where they do not interfere with other areas of activity.

The Ministry of the Environment said maritime spatial planning must focus on the sustainable development of the maritime economy and the sustainable use of resources, as well as take into account economic, social and ecological objectives.

The maritime spatial plan's purpose is to agree on the principles and values ​​on the basis of which the Estonian maritime space is used.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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