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Marine spatial planning in the Belgian policy

Legal framework on marine spatial planning in Belgium.

The Marine Law Treaty led to the approval of two major implementation laws:

These laws provide the basis for decisions on new ways to use the sea, such as the construction of offshore wind turbine parks, the increasing demand for cables and pipelines, new types of recreation and the creation of marine protected areas.

In 2003, a procedure to obtain a licence and the obligation to carry out an environmental effect evaluation were introduced through the performance-oriented Royal Decrees

In national legislation the recovery of sea sand and gravel is still regulated by the Law on the Continental Shelf, which provides the framework for the exploration and exploitation of non-living treasures of the territorial sea and the continental shelf

More information on the legal framework in Belgium

Policy in the Belgian section of the North Sea

In 2003, the North Sea policy was specifically mentioned in the governmental agreement and a federal secretary was appointed for the management of the Belgian section of the North Sea.

This put the development of a sustainable vision for the North Sea high on the agenda. A master plan for the North Sea was drafted and it is now implemented step by step.

The so-called Secretary for North Sea Affairs identified a number of core tasks for his policy, such as the expansion of the wind farm on the Thornton Bank, the delimitation of protected marine areas and a policy plan for the sustainable recovery of sand and gravel

The policy regarding the North Sea was further refined in the Memorandum Marine Environment. Generally speaking, the aim is to unite the numerous activities in the North Sea in the best possible way.

More information on the Maritime Spatial Planning in the the Belgian section of the North Sea