Caribbean island states are heavily dependent on the ocean for their social and economic development. However, coastal and marine areas are increasingly under threat from intensifying human activity, pollution, Sargassum influxes and the impacts of a changing climate. Furthermore, these large ocean states have ambitions of developing their ocean-based economies, expanding traditional activities such as fisheries and tourism, but also looking towards new uses such as offshore renewables and extractive industries.

Marine spatial planning (MSP) has been identified as a key tool for holistically planning and managing the ocean space and its resources on the pathway to developing a sustainable Blue Economy. MSP is in its infancy in the region and there is a critical need to develop the capacity of institutions to implement MSP processes.

Blue Planning in Practice (BPiP) is a training course developed by the Blue Solutions Initiative in collaboration with a range of international experts in the field of MSP which aims to provide an introduction to the theory and practical starting points of Blue Planning. The course equips participants with the knowledge and skills to strengthen planning and implementation in their own context.

This training is offered in partnership with the ECOP Programme, an endorsed Action of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and is funded through the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the IOC-UNESCO.


The objective of the training workshop is to provide an opportunity for Caribbean ECOPs to expand their knowledge on and skills for MSP implementation.

Participants will:

  • Learn to think in systems and understand the role of coastal and marine ecosystems for human well-being;
  • Be able to balance the interests of different stakeholders on the basis of clear and transparent criteria;
  • Become aware of barriers, challenges and enabling factors for the effective use and implementation of Blue Planning approaches; and
  • Be enabled to develop their own strategies to overcome those barriers and challenges.

Participants will also develop personal skills such as creativity, analytical and strategic thinking, cooperation and audience-oriented and culture-sensitive communication.

Training Methodology and Content

The BPiP training course is based on the case method, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical exercises. Through group work on the case study involving a fictitious state, participants will navigate through the fundamental steps of developing and implementing MSP, applying knowledge learned in practical exercises, and making use of digital tools such as the Miro whiteboard and the mapping software SeaSketch.

The course builds upon a range of existing planning frameworks and practical experiences, while highlighting the following common considerations and elements for ecosystem-based planning and management efforts in coastal and marine areas:

  • Identification of need and process design;
  • Organisation of stakeholder participation;
  • Inventory and analysis of current and future conditions;
  • Drafting and approving the spatial management plan;
  • Implementation and enforcement;
  • Monitoring, revision and adjustment.

More on the BPiP training course and the materials that will be used in the workshop can be found on the Blue Capacity Hub.

Target Audience

The training is open to Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) coming from the following Caribbean states:

Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, US Virgin Islands, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The training targets professionals working in coastal and marine related activities within government ministries and agencies, non-governmental organisations and civil society, such as those responsible for the planning and management of coastal and marine areas and their natural resources; from sectors such as fisheries, tourism, environment, transportation and energy; or from cross-sectoral management bodies including land use planning agencies. Participants should be in a position to transfer the learning to their own work contexts.

Application requirements

Applicants are asked to submit a CV and a one-page motivation statement outlining the reasons for wanting to participate in the workshop and how the knowledge will be transferred to their own work contexts within their institutions and with colleagues.

For the selection of participants the following criteria will be taken into consideration:

Familiarity with basic concepts of MSP or other inter-sectoral planning processes;
● Possibility to apply the training content in their daily work;
● A high level of communication in English (oral and written);

The workshop is scheduled for November 28th, 29th and 30th 2022. Selected participants are expected to attend all sessions planned for the three days. Certificates will be awarded upon successful completion of the training. Participation in the workshop is free of charge.

Applications should be sent as a single PDF file to

The deadline for applications is the 4th of November, 2022, at midnight CET.

For further information, follow this link.

via ECOP
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