The Marine Spatial Management and Governance Programme (MARISMA) of the BCLME promotes sustainable ocean use in the Benguela Current, focusing on implementing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). MSP is a process which guides when and where human activities occur in the ocean. It reveals spatial conflicts and synergies between uses, and it encourages the shared use of marine areas to benefit as many industries as possible.


MSP helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem by integrating conservation objectives for marine biodiversity - a prerequisite for sustainable dvelopment. The project helps BCC member states identify “Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas” (EBSAs). MSP is an integrative process that engages a wide range of stakeholders. Government departments, industry, NGOs and communities cooperate in working towards an agreed marine plan that is supported by stakeholders and implemented by public authorities.

Planning for Sustainability

The project applies a “learning-by-doing” approach that comprises multiple interventions at national and regional levels to ensure sustainable capacity development. The aim is to enable and provide concrete learning opportunities and experiences through practical implementation of MSP and description of EBSAs. The work on EBSAs enables the countries to move towards science-based management of their (transboundary) marine biodiversity.

MARISMA ensures that all project activities are designed in a way that enhances capacities through knowledge transfer and on-the-job training. The project implements a strategy for communication and public awareness in order to increase appreciation of the benefits that come with MSP and EBSAs. Lessons learned are captured and shared nationally, acrosss the three countries and globally.

Marine Spatial Planning in a nutshell


Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is spreading across the globe as a new way of achieving sustainable development of the world’s seas and oceans. But what does MSP actually mean? How does it work? “Marine Spatial Planning – in a nutshell” is a five-minute film that explains MSP simply and dynamically. It is suitable for everyone: from local communities to planners and policy-makers. You can view and download it here. The film is freely available and can be shared and viewed publicly without needing to request permission. Please use the film as widely as you can to spread the message about MSP! This film has been financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety through its International Climate Initiative. It has been jointly produced by the global Blue Solutions Initiative and the MARISMA project in the Benguela Current region.


Project Details

Funded by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) , BCC and it’s member states Namibia, Angola and South Africa
Implemented by: The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with the BCC
Duration: August 2014 - April 2020
Funding: Up to €8,900,000 (German contribution) with in-kind contributions by the BCC and its member states


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The MARISMA project is a partnership between the BCC, its member states Angola, Namibia and South Africa and the government of Germany in pursuit of the sustainable development of the BCLME.


Unlocking the BCLME’s economic potential for sustainable growth is essential to achieving the region’s development goals. MARISMA supports the BCC and its member states in maximizing socio-economic benefits whilst ensuring the safeguarding of the marine ecosystem’s health and services provision.








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