International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

GEF LME:LEARN Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy Online Course

Online Open Course
The GEF LME:LEARN Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy Course provides an introduction into MSP concepts relevant for practitioners working within Large Marine Ecosystems and their Coasts. This course aims to provide project leads, partners, and others with practical approaches, lessons on MSP and illustrative case studies. It also serves to promote an integrated, collaborative approach to ocean and coastal management with a special emphasis on LMEs.

The course is available at:


The GEF LME:LEARN Project Coordination Unit, in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and UNDP Cap-Net, offer a course to familiarize participants with an understanding of what marine spatial planning is about, what benefits it can have, and what results you can expect. Furthermore, the course is designed to present the basic steps of MSP process, actors and responsibilities, legislation and finances needed, the MSP tools and techniques, and finally transboundary and cross-border contexts for MSP with a special emphasis on Large Marine Ecosystems.

What will you learn?

By the end of the GEF LME:LEARN Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Sustainable Blue Economy Online Course, participants will:

  • Have a broad understanding of the key elements that constitute Marine Spatial Planning at national and LME/transboundary scale, and be able to relate these to the organisations and countries in which they work;
  • Understand the relevance of marine spatial planning as a topic for coastal and marine development and management;
  • Be able to balance interests of different stakeholders on the basis of clear and transparent criteria.

Who should take the course?

The course is intended for professionals (project managers, chief technical advisors, or project staff) responsible for planning and management of coastal and marine areas. Decision makers, practitioners and technical staff from governments and academia who are responsible for management of marine and coastal areas are also encouraged to participate.

How will it be delivered?

A facilitated edition of this course was delivered between January and February 2019. The course contents and materials are now open to all interested persons at no cost, and no time limit to complete the modules. To access the course contents you need to be registered in Cap-Net´s Virtual Campus.

Participants should read the prescribed content and then take the short quiz. Participants also have access to a valuable set of materials including readings, videos, and suggested web sites to further their knowledge. 

Do you have questions?

Should you have any questions about the course, materials, quizzes, or if you are interested in face-to-face training, please contact Natalie Degger (