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Attendees (in person)
Peter Davies - Cadeirydd PMaA Cymru / CaSP Cymru Chair
Michael Davies - CEO Saundersfoot Harbour
Kirsty Lindenbaum - Natural Resources Wales
Kathryn Hughes - Natural Resources Wales
Gareth Cunningham - Wales Environment Link / Marine Conservation Society
Mark Rychnovsky - Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water
Stephen Thompson - Marine Energy Wales
Rhian Jardine - Natural Resources Wales
Beth Williams - Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
Jetske Germing - Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
John O’Connor - Angling Cymru Sea Anglers
John Wrottesley - Seabed Users and Developers Group
Rachel Sharp - Wildlife Trusts Wales
Julie Rostan - WWF Cymru
Shea Buckland-Jones - WWF Cymru
Alice Teague - Deputy Director, Marine and Biodiversity, WG
Caryn Le Roux - Head of Marine Resilience and Climate Change, WG
Gary Douch - Head of Marine and Fisheries Funding Policy, WG
Hilary Evans - Government Business, Finance and Engagement Manager, WG
Samuel Dorrington - Apprentice, Marine Resilience and Climate Change, WG
Jon Parker - Aquaculture Industry Wales
Rhoda Ballinger - British Ports Association
Emma McKinley - Cardiff University
Andrew Schofield - Environment Platform Wales
Michael Parry - Pwllheli Partnership
Katie Havard-Smith - Severn Estuary Partnership (Cardiff University)
Neville Rookes - Welsh Local Government Association
Elizabeth Beall - Finance Earth (Presenter)
David Tudor - Incoming Chair
Kam Tang - Swansea University
Fergus O’Brien - Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water
Rosie Kelly - The Crown Estate
Phil Horton - Royal Yachting Association
Becky Philips - JNCC
Noemi Donigiewicz - Seafish
Karen Stothard - Head of Strategy, WG
Elen King - Marine Planning Implementation Manager, WG
Welcome and introductions
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Marine Centre of Excellence (MCE) and outlined the meeting agenda.
Michael Davies, MCE CEO gave an overview of Saundersfoot Harbour's growth and the MCE's role in local economy and employment.
Project Delivery Plan Overview
Caryn Le Roux provided an overview of the project plan, highlighting the Ministerial commitment to completing the work this Senedd term, including delivery of the Biodiversity Deep Dive recommendations, and outlined future actions and desired outcomes. Supporting documents at Annex 2.
A smaller governance group will be established to oversee delivery of the project plan and its milestones.
ACTION 1: Caryn to share project plan documents (Annex 2) and arrange governance group meeting
Ocean Literacy Working Group
Ocean Literacy Strategy Development (Kirsty Lindenbaum and Kath Hughes)
Kirsty presented an overview of the Ocean Literacy working group.
Full presentation in Annex 1 – Presentations.
The group has met regularly to draw up a strategy and action plan. This has brought in additional ocean literacy practitioners to the group.
Network building and creating a network of champions was an important outcome identified previously and the group is already delivering on that.
Kath presented an outline of the draft strategy for comment on the approach.
UN Decade of Ocean Science (Emma McKinley)
Emma updated members on the Ocean Decade, highlighting the Barcelona conference in April 2024 which CaSP could link into to promote work going on in Wales. The intention is to get the Ocean Literacy Strategy to be an approved activity.
ACTION 2: Emma to work with Kirsty and Kath to progress an application for the Ocean Literacy Strategy to be approved as an Ocean Decade activity.
Members discussed wider engagement and outreach potential.
ACTION 3: Rachel Sharp to engage the ‘eNGO sector Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group’ regarding increasing diversity within the marine sector.
A task for the Chair will be to diversify the group. Members felt a need for mapping the network.
Integrating Ocean Literacy into the curriculum was discussed, and the Marine Conservation Society is in talks with the Education Minister Jeremy Miles.
The Ocean Literacy group is looking to establish an online platform for the Partnership.
Sustainable Delivery of Nature’s Recovery - Marine (Finance Earth)
Elizabeth Beall from Finance Earth presented findings from the contract awarded to Finance Earth, Eunomia and RSPB, to provide the Welsh Government with advice on how to build a sustainable delivery model for nature recovery. Full presentation in Annex 1 – Presentations.
The advice consists of two key aspects; how we build capacity and capability within the delivery sector and how we attract additional sources of investments into nature recovery.
The report puts forward several recommendations to support investment pathways and will be shared with members when available.
ACTION 4: Secretariat to share the Finance Earth report with members when available.
WCVA Progress with WREEF (Gareth Cunningham)
Gareth emphasised the need for a mix of public and private finance for environmental restoration challenges. He outlined recent Blue Investment working group activities. A smaller sub-group is collaborating with WCVA to create a long-term funding framework, the working title of which is the Wales Resilient Ecosystems and Enhancement Fund (WREEF).
Members were encouraged to join the WREEF steering group and comment on a draft letter going to developers.
Discussion focused on qualitative and quantitative analysis for funding decisions, increased investment in research and development, and clear strategic alignment with Biodiversity 30x30 goals for the marine environment, and risk management. Balancing action and evidence collection was emphasised, promoting adaptive management.
Alice highlighted a link to the upcoming environmental governance Bill, setting statutory nature targets to guide budget and resources. A White Paper is anticipated later this year.
ACTION 5: Gareth to circulate the developer’s letter to members for comment. Members to consider joining the WREEF steering group as and when it is set up.
Update on Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme and Coastal Capacity Building Scheme (Gary Douch)
Full presentation in Annex 1 – Presentations.
The development of the Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme (WMFS) involved CaSP members on an advisory group which shaped its focus. Designed to be adaptable to sector needs, WMFS has a £2.1M annual budget.
Two funding rounds have occurred with two more coming up for Health and Safety, and a general round for marine resilience, biodiversity, science, evidence and sustainable seafood. Each round has a standard six-week application window through Rural Payments Wales.
The Coastal Capacity Building Scheme, delivered through Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) by WCVA, offers £1M total funding over two years (£500k per year). The first application window is anticipated to open in August. Full details on the WCVA website Coastal Capacity Building Fund - WCVA.
During the lunch break members were guided around Saundersfoot Harbour by Michael Davies, CEO of the Marine Centre. The Chair thanked Michael for the interesting tour and promised to feed back to Visit Wales who invested in the facilities at Saundersfoot Harbour.
ACTION 6: Chair to provide positive feedback to Visit Wales on the Saundersfoot Harbour development.
Introducing Dr David Tudor – new chair
The Chair welcomed and congratulated Dr David Tudor on his appointment as the new CaSP Chair. David, who joined virtually, introduced himself to the group and outlined his vision for the group going forward as a Ministerial appointed chair. David will focus on being an ambassador for Wales’ marine environment, linking to the Future Generations office, and collaborating with stakeholders to understand their vision as the Partnership moves forward as a Ministerial group.
Building Capacity updates (Peter Davies)
The primary focus of this work has been on development of the WMFS (see above) and the Coastal Capacity Building fund. Future priorities will be considered and reviewed.
Gary Douch summarised how Coastal Capacity Building projects are supporting the sector and encouraging more Welsh projects to apply for the £100m UK Seafood Fund. Concerns over complex application processes under the previous EMFF were raised, emphasising the need for accessible systems and application support.
There was discussion of the merits of fewer, more collaborative projects over smaller fragmented projects and how the former could be encouraged.
A 'strawman' of success measures (see Annex 2, doc 5) has been produced for the Capacity Building theme. This paper helped shape the current coastal capacity building fund through the stakeholder advisory group with members from CaSP represented.
Continued discussions between the Chair and Gary on capacity building were suggested, to ensure strong links are maintained.
ACTION 7: Gary to arrange meeting with CaSP Chair to discuss coastal capacity building.
National Framework on Coastal Co-ordination
Peter noted the group's existing role as a national coastal partnership but suggested establishing a Wales-specific framework in line with the 3Cs (Championing Coastal Coordination) and Coastal Capacity Building theme. The UK Coastal Coordination project served as a potential model. Alys Morris presented an update on the National Framework for Coastal Coordination led by the Coastal Partnerships Network (CPN).
For the full presentation, please refer to the PDF format in Annex 1 – Presentations.
Discussion on next steps for a Framework for Wales
The group discussed how CaSP could be better connected to the CPN, who are keen to engage at a Wales level.
Key discussion points were the governance differences between England and Wales. The CPN looks at how Coastal Partnerships can deliver on the ground. Wales has two Coastal Partnerships; however, more work is going on around the country.
It was decided that if CaSP were to effectively be the National body for Wales several actions would be needed:
- to be better connected to the CPN.
- map existing networks and governance structures
- bring the wider network of partnerships together in Wales, linking to the marine planning sector governance
- establish a Governance group to manage administrative operations.
- have a legislative framework underpinning the National body
ACTION 8: CLR to explore commissioning a piece of work to map existing partnerships and governance structures across Wales.
ACTION 9: Outgoing chair to discuss with incoming chair how this theme will be taken forward.
Establishing a Marine Park was suggested as a potential avenue to enhance accessibility and public engagement in marine management and environmental governance.
Dr. David Tudor was appointed as CaSP Chair for three years, with a commitment of approximately four days per month. The Minister for Climate Change will formally welcome the new Chair at the October meeting.
ToR and membership mandate
Membership criteria were discussed, agreeing that organisations who sign up to the Shared Narrative principles could join the Partnership. The ToR will be updated accordingly.
Governance and CaSP comms opportunities
There was not sufficient time to discuss other matters, but a governance meeting will be convened, and previously noted comms activities pursued, including a link to the next Coastal Futures conference in 2024.
ACTION 10: A requirement for members to ‘sign up to and work actively towards our shared narrative’ will be included within the ToR.
ACTION 11: Members were also reminded to send in logos if they do not currently appear on the Shared Narrative.
UKRI Resilient Coasts Funding Programme – Kam Tang, Swansea University.
The UKRI Resilient Coasts funding programme has £11.5M to fund four or five projects. Swansea University is developing a project proposal to satisfy requirements around community development, engagement, capacity building, net zero, and marine resilience. Following an outline of the proposal, CaSP agreed to be named on Swansea University’s application as supporting their project proposal.
Diverse Values Project - Emma McKinley
The Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) project focuses on integrating diverse values into decision-making, exploring barriers and opportunities. After a Bristol workshop, Emma suggested involving the Partnership in a similar initiative to brainstorm ways to enhance Partnership diversity.
ACTION 12: Emma to circulate an overview of the Diverse Values project and set up a workshop for CaSP members.
The meeting closed with an informal gathering as a thank you and farewell to Peter Davies for his time as Chair of the group and the valuable contributions he has made over the last 10 years.
Round up of actions
- Caryn to share project plan documents (see Annex 2) and a governance group meeting to be arranged.
- Emma to work with Kirsty and Kath to progress an application for the Ocean Literacy Strategy to be approved as an Ocean Decade activity.
- Rachel Sharp to have conversations regarding increasing diversity within the marine sector with the eNGO sector Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group.
- Secretariat to share the Finance Earth report with members when available.
- Gareth to circulate the developer’s letter to members for comment. Members to consider joining the WREEF steering group as and when it is set up.
- Chair to provide positive feedback to Visit Wales on the Saundersfoot Harbour development.
- Gary to arrange meeting with CaSP Chair to discuss coastal capacity building.
- CLR to explore commissioning a piece of work to map existing partnerships and governance structures across Wales.
- Outgoing chair to discuss with incoming chair how this theme will be taken forward.
- A requirement for members to ‘sign up to and work actively towards our shared narrative’ will be included within the ToR.
- Members were also reminded to send in logos if they do not currently appear on the Shared Narrative.
- Emma to circulate an overview of the Diverse Values project and set up a workshop for CaSP members