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9. Recommendations for stakeholders and government

This section summarises the key recommendations on implementation of the ecosystem approach in the context of the MSFD. Recommendations were developed for stakeholders (primarily sea-users) and government (including national competent authorities, the EC, OSPAR and other international government agencies) and can be applied to the Celtic Sea and other regions.

Recommendations for stakeholders:

  • Be assertive and organised in order to maximise participation opportunities – don’t assume opportunities will automatically be offered.
  • Participate actively in the process of identifying and evaluating measures, to help ensure they are appropriate, cost effective, affordable and enforceable.
  • Advocate and support the development of mechanisms to support stakeholder participation (e.g. national and regional-seas forums).
  • Continue to identify and implement voluntary measures that address environmental issues and consider ecosystem services. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Seek opportunities to work with others, including government, marine industries, NGOs and the scientific community, to identify and implement voluntary solutions.
  • Make government aware of how voluntary actions are helping to meet policy targets, to reduce the need for regulation and enhance the case for a voluntary approach.
  • Share information on technological advances and initiatives through appropriate channels (e.g. newsletters, websites, stakeholder forums).
  • Seek opportunities associated with the MSFD (e.g. undertaking research and monitoring, diversifying activities, obtaining finance).

Recommendations for government:

  • Implement marine spatial planning – to provide the overarching framework for integrated management of human activities required by the ecosystem approach.
  • Engage proactively with stakeholders and involve them throughout the implementation process (not just consultation), to help meet statutory requirements, deliver well-supported outcomes and conserve public resources.
  • Develop clear and transparent stakeholder engagement strategies, setting out how stakeholders can participate in the implementation process.
  • Use stakeholder knowledge and experience during the identification and evaluation of measures (e.g. to help determine feasibility, effectiveness, costs, benefits and impacts).
  • Advocate and support the development of mechanisms to support stakeholder participation (e.g. local, national and regional-seas forums).
  • Support and encourage voluntary measures that address environmental issues and consider ecosystem services (e.g. through funding, incentives, partnership-working and education).
  • Explore the potential for voluntary measures to help meet MSFD targets, and to advocate their inclusion directly into the statutory programmes of measures.
  • Explore ways of enhancing opportunities associated with the MSFD (e.g. awarding research and monitoring contracts to stakeholders, supporting the diversification of activities, providing finance for measures, etc.).
  • Support regional-seas cooperation by, for example, advocating the collation of information at the sub-region level (e.g. by Regional Seas Conventions) and supporting transboundary cooperation initiatives and projects (e.g. by the EC).

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