Marine and Coastal Spatial Planning

Blue Planning in Practice

Enabling ecosystem-based marine and coastal planning and management

Learning objective

The Blue Planning training course aims to strengthen practical planning and implementation. It provides an introduction to the theory and practical starting points of coastal and marine spatial planning. The training course builds on decades of practi­cal experiences and learning, and was conceptualized with the guidance of over 30 marine and coastal spatial planning experts from around the world.

Target group

The training package is intended for professionals responsible for the planning and management of coastal and marine areas and their natural resources (including a wide range of sectors, e.g. environment, fisheries, tourism, transportation, energy, and sea mining), or from cross-sectorial management bodies.

Course outline

The Blue Planning training course builds upon a range of existing planning frameworks and practical experiences. It highlights the following modules and elements for ecosystem-based planning and management efforts in coastal and marine areas:

  • Identification of need and process design
  • Development of shared vision, objectives and goals
  • Organization 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


The course has a duration of at least 5 days and is based on a case method, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical exercises (case work). The training deals with the fictitious country Bakul, a case closely based on real-life conditions and challenges. The fictitious case allows participants to dive into a matter, free from their own work context and its biases, and reflect on the implications of the lessons learned for their “real cases”. The methodology can also be applied to a real case, yet this involves further preparation in advance of the training course in order to gather and process necessary information.
“Solutions”, successful cases curated at the PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet Platform, complement the trainings by illustrating theoretical inputs and case work learning.

The course has been conducted worldwide. Read more about the training courses in Brazil, Myanmar, Ecuador, Senegal, Vietnam and in the Benguela Current Region.


Cookbook for Conveners 

Trainer Manual