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A summary of the group's purpose and how it will work.

1. Purpose

To provide stakeholder feedback on the content and production of the Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) and associated processes and to advise on implementation of the adopted plan.

2. Scope

The Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG) will act as a “critical friend” to Welsh Government throughout the Marine Planning process. The group will advise on approaches to marine planning, and specific planning outputs including contents of the plan. Early drafts of products will be shared with the group on an in-confidence basis.

The MPSRG will advise on both plan production and plan implementation and continue beyond plan adoption.

3. Key focus areas

Advice and input will be required in a number of topic areas for example:

  • Vision and Objectives for the WNMP
  • The content of the WNMP
  • The marine planning process in Wales
  • Evidence for planning Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA and Habitats Regulatory Assessment (HRA)
  • Integration with other planning regimes
  • WNMP monitoring, reviewing and assessment
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) as part of the marine planning process
  • The Ecosystem Approach, SMNR and Wellbeing
  • Research products associated with the marine planning process
  • Plan implementation including decision making
  • To feed-in “lessons learned” from other marine or related planning processes
  • To assist with the development of cross-border co-ordination particularly around the Severn and Dee Estuaries.

4. Engagement

  • To act as a conduit between the marine planning team and wider stakeholder networks related to relevant representation role
  • To communicate with stakeholder networks when we consult and help us to engage where appropriate
  • To advocate our message
  • To keep the Welsh Government informed of any new networks or the best routes of communications for reaching key stakeholders.

5. Membership

The membership of the group will comprise a range of stakeholder interests including:

  • British Marine Aggregate Producers Association
  • Chamber of Shipping
  • European Marine Site Officers
  • European Subsea Cables Association
  • Horizon Nuclear Power
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Liverpool University
  • Marine Energy Wales
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • National Trust
  • Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
  • Renewables UK
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • Seabed User Developer Group
  • SeaCAMS2
  • Seafish
  • Severn Estuary Partnership
  • RSPB
  • Tidal Lagoon Power
  • The Crown Estate
  • Wales Environmental Link
  • Welsh Fishermen’s Association
  • Welsh Government marine planning
  • Welsh Local Government Association
  • Welsh Mussel Producers Association
  • Welsh Ports Group

Other stakeholders and Welsh Government policy leads may be asked to join specific meetings.

6. Working arrangements

The MPSRG will be chaired by the Head of Marine Policy Branch.

The MPSRG will meet approximately quarterly whilst the WNMP is being drafted. Regularity of meetings will be reviewed upon adoption of the WNMP.

Meetings will typically be face to face, supplemented by virtual meetings as appropriate and will be spread across Wales.

Members of the MPSRG will provide input and advice as appropriate on a flexible basis. Members could be asked to join smaller task and finish groups on an ad-hoc basis as we complete different stages of the plan.

The Welsh Government estate will be used whenever possible and video conferencing facilities will be utilised when possible.

The MPSRG will operate as a critical friend. Constructive contributions will be expected with a focus on resolution of issues and concerns.

When information / material is shared with the MPSRG, Welsh Government will clarify if it is appropriate to share beyond the group.

Action points will be noted and circulated and a high level summary of the discussion will be published on the Welsh Government website.