The cultural heritage (CH) of the Baltic Sea is exceptionally versatile and well preserved even in a global comparison. To date, these cultural assets are barely included in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea. The BalticRIM project aims to integrate cultural heritage resource management into MSP in the Baltic Sea, using the opportunity of the ongoing processes driven by the MSP Directive across all Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries. It will contribute to some lacking dimension of sustainability in the MSP processes in the BSR, thereby closing gaps to support regional efforts and to become an international model of MSP implementation. BalticRIM aims to improve the capacity of regional and maritime cultural heritage (MCH) planning agencies by developing, testing and implementing new planning solutions, innovative ways of public participation as well as sectoral MCH concepts throughout the BSR. In collaboration with MSP experts and institutions, maritime cultural heritage authorities and experts will draw on existing MCH databases and mapping tools to provide quality information and planning evidence on MCH assets and areas to the MSP processes. The European Commission has selected BalticRIM as a project under the European Year for Cultural Heritage 2018. This initiative encourages more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage and reinforces a sense of belonging to a common European space.
BalticRIM will bring together actors in charge of MCH and spatial planning from seven countries, including the Russian Federation, around the Baltic Sea to jointly develop commonly agreed spatial planning perspectives for MCH. Through the transnational exchange of experience and knowhow and the joint development of these perspectives, these actors will gain new knowledge on ways to steer the integration of MCH into cross-sectoral planning processes. Furthermore, they will learn how to foster sustainable Blue Growth through the use of synergies between MCH and other activities by intelligent management and spatial planning. This knowledge – to be documented e.g. in a set of planning criteria and related recommendations as well as a lesson learnt report on the update of regional MCH concepts – will also be shared with a broad variety of stakeholders in the participating regions as well as with other regions around the Baltic Sea and beyond. By implementing regional pilot activities and involving related stakeholders such as municipalities, private entities and sectoral agencies, the BalticRIM partners will generate new knowledge about the feasibility to realise concrete MCH projects in specific areas in their region.
The project will develop tools to structure decision-making processes and criteria leading to compatible planning solutions to be integrated into future MSP through a series of cross-sector dialogues and assessments carried out in pilot areas with real maritime spatial plans. The project will create examples of win-win solutions between MCH assets, other maritime economic and environmental interests through collaborative planning and management pilot cases. Joint desk research, fieldwork in pilot areas and cross-sector and stakeholder workshops help building capacities for efficient integrated resource management.