North Sea Forum 2050 presents final reports on the way to vision text for the North Sea | Compendium Coast and Sea

North Sea Forum 2050 presents final reports on the way to vision text for the North Sea

Eight months after the start of the North Sea Forum the final reports of the working groups are presented to Secretary of State for North Sea, Philippe de Backer. The reports pave the way towards an integrated ‘North Sea 2050’ vision. The stakeholders are very pleased with the constructive atmosphere and ambitious goals envisioned for our North Sea. 


Back in December 2016, the Secretary of State for North Sea, Philippe de Backer, launched the North Sea Forum for the development of a ‘North Sea vision 2050’. Within this North Sea Forum, stakeholders from different sectors (private sector, NGOs, local governments, centers of expertise, civil society, media, administrations) are brought together to discuss accross policy domains and reflect open mindedly on the long-term future of the North Sea (2018-2050). Through three adjoining working groups (Nature, Multiple Spatial Use and Blue Economy and Innovation) one could work within four contact moments towards a vision that encompassed the whole of relevant opportunities and threats in the Belgian North Sea for the period 2018-2050. The purpose of these working groups was to provide three final reports that reflect the viewpoints of the stakeholders in each workgroup theme coming from a scientific point of view and a bottom-up approach. Within the WG Nature, it is a prerequisite that all future activities should ensure the development and maintenance of a healthy and resilient ecosystem; The Blue Economy & Innovation Working Group focuses on the optimal response to economic capabilities and benefits for innovation in the Belgian North Sea, where Multiple Spatial Use explores synergies between the user functions in the BNZ to achieve the most efficient space use of the available space. The three working groups are connected via transversal themes: sustainability, research and development, governance/governance structures, security, land-sea interaction and cross-border.
Now the result of this exercise is completed and the three reports were presented to the Secretary of State for North Sea, Philippe de Backer, and the participants of the different working groups. The final reports have been well received and show an open, ambitious vision with a high degree of consensus of what we want from our North Sea in the future and the path towards this. In the final phase of the North Sea Forum, these reports are condensed in one coherent visiting text 'North Sea 2050' by October 2017. An official presentation of the final text and final conference will follow in December 2017. The text will then be included as attachment to the new MSP (2020).
The Compendium Secretariat was very closely involved in the North Sea Forum process: As a member of the North Sea Council, it was in a position to shape, guide and oversee the forum. In addition, we played our role as a central point of contact for the provision of knowledge, data and information, and were represented in all workgroups. The Compendium Coast and Sea 2015 was also used as a basic document when drawing up the starting notes of the different working groups.