Wales Coasts and Seas Partnership (CaSP Cymru): 6 October 2022
Minutes of the inaugural meeting of 6 October 2022 at Yr Hafod, Cardiff and online.
In this page
Peter Davies, Chair
Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
Daniel Butler (MCC Special Advisor)
Emma McKinley, Cardiff University
Alys Morris, Severn Estuary Partnership
Jacob Kevern, Severn Estuary Partnership
Rhian Jardine, Natural Resources Wales
Kirsty Lindenbaum, Natural Resources Wales
Kathryn Hughes, Natural Resources Wales
Jetske Germing, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum/Marine Energy Wales
Paul Renfro, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum/Marine Energy Wales
Rebecca Williams, The Crown Estate
Gareth Cunningham, Marine Conservation Society / Wales Environment Link
Rachel Sharp, Wales Wildlife Trusts
David Harding, British Marine Aggregates Association
Alice Teague, Welsh Government
Caryn Le Roux, Welsh Government
Hilary Evans, Welsh Government
Gary Douch, Welsh Government
Phil Hollington, Cragen Llyn a Mon
Jonathan Monk, Milford Haven Port Authority
Mark Rychnovsky, Dwr Cymru
Jennifer Godwin, Seabed Users and Developers Group
Rhys Ambrose, Seabed Users and Developers Group
Winter Dotto, Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Michel Regelous, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Katie Havard-Smith, Severn Estuary Partnership
Emily Williams, RSPB
Phillip Turner, The Crown Estate
Noemi Donigiewicz, Seafish
David Tudor, Blue Marine Foundation
Robert Floyd, Welsh Government
Kate Wade, Welsh Government
Bex Lynam, Wildlife Trust (Presenter)
Fergus O’Brien, Dwr Cymru
Neville Rookes, WLGA
Mike Parry, Pwllheli Partnership
David McDermott, One Voice Wales
10:30: Welcome & introductions
10:40 to 12:25: Working Groups - updates and actions
10:40: Ocean Literacy
11:00: Sustainable Investment
11:25: Wales Marine and Fisheries Scheme
11:35: Building Capacity
12:30 to 13:30: Lunch
13:30: Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
14:30: Blue Carbon Presentation
14:55: Round Table Updates
15:10: Secretariat Update
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair welcomed members present and those online to the inaugural Wales Coasts and Seas Partnership meeting, and the first hybrid meeting of the group since before the pandemic. Members of the group introduced themselves.
A highlight report (see Annex A) was circulated to the group ahead of the meeting.
The Chair introduced the morning session focussing on progress, actions and next steps across the three themes.
Kathryn Hughes, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) presented an overview of the highlights from the UK Ocean Literacy survey results and Kirsty Lindenbaum discussed outputs from the Ocean Literacy workshops and next steps.
The group were interested to find out more about the spatial analysis of responses to the survey, which the working group will consider.
The group questioned how the results of the survey will influence our actions.
Suggestions for engaging with hard-to-reach audiences were made, with support for a Wales Coastal Expo or a Royal Welsh event for the sea. The idea of Champions and Communities of Practice was put forward.
Ocean Literacy Actions
- Working group meeting 27th October to discuss action planning.
- Working group to consider and act on: (Kath/Kirsty/Emma)
- Spatial analysis of responses to survey
- How does the survey influence our actions? Hard-to-reach audiences?
- Take forward Coastal Expo/Royal Welsh for the Sea
- Champions and Communities of Practice (particularly related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and geographical communities)
Kirsty Lindenbaum, NRW gave a presentation on the Nature Networks Fund.
Alice Teague provided an update on the contract let to Finance Earth, Eunomia and RSPB to provide advice on ecosystem service markets, innovative financing mechanisms and relevant business models across Wales. There are also a number of recommendations coming out of the Biodiversity 30 x 30 Deep Dive which the Partnership can pick up quickly, such as those on capacity, community engagement, sustainable investment.
Sustainable Investment Actions
- Ensure Working group is plugged into the process of WG making clear its policy position on private finance. Alice
- Ensure Jennifer Godwin (Seabed Users Group) is included in Working group – Gareth/Hilary
- Working group to ensure community benefits are an outcome of sustainable finance as well as nature recovery – Gareth
- Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum Payments for Ecosystem Services work needs to be included - Jetske
Wales Marine and Fisheries Scheme
Gary Douch provided an Update on the Wales Marine and Fisheries Scheme (WMFS). The WMFS includes work to address both sustainable investment and building capacity.
The first two scheme funding rounds will focus on Marketing measures, Energy efficiencies and mitigation of climate change.
The Environment and Rural Affairs Strategic Analysis Team were commissioned to carry out a rapid literature evidence review on community engagement and held two stakeholder workshops alongside this in September. The aim of the workshops and evidence review is to understand existing community led action projects and what approaches work well in their communities to help with design of a capacity building proposal.
Members were asked if they were content with the scope and direction of travel of the scheme development.
Comments were that working with communities takes time, therefore longer term rather than short term projects are preferred. Funding continuity is important and not just funding for innovative and novel projects.
Targeting specific programmes was raised as a consideration, along with how to reach marginalised communities.
Funding Policy Advisory Group Actions
- The Funding Policy Advisory group will re-convene in mid-November. A key item on that agenda to be guidance for grant fund.
The Chair highlighted the importance of getting communities involved through consultation and collaboration.
Case studies cited were Summit2Sea (now Tir Canol, having changed their approach in partnership with local communities), Restoring Seagrass in Dale Project, Wales Clean Seas Partnership and the Environment Agency’s Championing Coastal Coordination initiative which has 13 coastal collaborative projects (more details below).
Many examples for collaborative coastal governance groups such as Coastal Partnerships, coastal groups, Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee, Wales Coastal Group Forum and MPA officers were signposted as providing opportunities to align and collaborate. The Striking the Balance report is also still very relevant.
Alys Morris, Severn Estuary Partnership gave a short presentation on Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) which is an Environment Agency funded initiative seeking to explore how to enhance and progress coordination for coastal sustainability and resilience in England.
Championing Coastal Coordination – Severn Estuary Partnership
The Chair and members discussed the idea of having a Marine National Park in Wales, similar to the Plymouth Marine Park. Whilst there is positive support there are legal issues to consider, as well as consequential implications of increasing the popularity of an area and the effects on its stewardship. A legal review would be needed, but a designation might not be statutory but more of a communications/engagement tool.
Other avenues and initiatives to be explored and built on include Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) potentially linked to the National Park concept, Tourism (as in Year of the Sea), using the model of the Royal Welsh county support for a National Marine Expo (which would be in common with the Ocean Literacy group).
Building Capacity Actions
- Set up a meeting to follow the Funding Policy Advisory Group in mid-late November – to allow any feedback to be included in the capacity building grant fund if possible.
- Define any deliverables and/or commission further evidence needs including considering the 3Cs recommendations for Wales – Peter/Hilary
- Explore Coastal Partnerships cf the Local Nature Partnerships model – although to note power of CaSP is not just environmental, also socio-economic - Peter
Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
The Chair welcomed Julie James, MS, Minister for Climate Change to the meeting.
The Chair outlined achievements over this first year which have focussed on building momentum, identifying practical actions and forming smaller groups to take this work forward over the Senedd term. The Chair explained how the group has evolved from a Task and Finish group into a Partnership focussing on co-production and collaboration. The renewed focus for the group has resulted in an agreed ‘Shared Narrative’ which sets out what the Coasts and Seas Partnership is trying to achieve.
Members recognised the Minister wishes to see action and delivery in the short-term and they welcomed the opportunity for the Minister to direct them to realise this aspiration.
The Minister thanked members for their commitment and stressed her reliance on stakeholders on helping to achieve actions in this sphere.
The Minister thanked the Chair for his invaluable work with the group over the last 10 years and noted that he would be stepping down from the role next year. The Minister announced she would be publicly appointing a Chair as his replacement. Members support a Ministerial appointed Chair to elevate the status of the group and help raise the profile of the marine environment and importance of this group’s work.
The Minister was keen for the CaSP to take ownership of the marine targets from the 30x30 Biodiversity Deep Dive to help Welsh Government understand what 30x30 looks like and a route plan in eight years, stressing that targets needed to be achievable and not just about designation. The Minister stated the importance of understanding the what, when and how for any targets and their delivery, with an action plan with concrete tangible actions to deliver those targets by 2030.
Need to consider how this group, or another existing one can take that forward (NB COP15 will define the overarching target further) – Alice/Caryn
The Biodiversity Core Group will have a Task and Finish group with marine experts, which the Chair will invite to the CaSP to maintain link up.
The Minister provided assurance that we would not be tearing up our current legislation, noting we should improve on what we already have and also to link back to the Well-being for Future Generations Act goals and indicators. This was met with support from members.
Members shared highlights and next steps from the Working groups with the Minister (see also Annex A). Points of particular interest in addition to earlier discussion were:
Members discussed the challenges of engaging with harder to reach audiences. The Minister suggested lessons can be learnt from the single-use plastic work in co-ordinating simplified messages.
Members discussed with the Minister various opportunities for engaging and linking up with existing networks such as:
- A Cross-Party Group for Coasts and Seas in the Senedd, which the Minister was supportive.
- Aligning with new governance structure for Water in Welsh Government.
- Engage with Visit Wales and re-invigorate our link with the tourism sector.
- Engage with Future Generations Commissioner
- Motion for the Ocean – Monmouthshire County Council have declared support and have an Action Plan which could be a framework for other local authorities.
The Minister would welcome advice on how to structure private finance for blue carbon so it not just an offsetting scheme – Gareth
PCF to send Alice Teague ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ work – Paul Renfro
Members discussed with the Minister the importance of community engagement, myth busting messages and setting out tangible benefits to get communities on side.
Blue Carbon Presentation
Bex Lynam from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust gave a presentation on the UK Blue Carbon Mapping Project.
The project will develop an inventory and map of existing carbon stores and look at quantifying the future carbon storage potential of seabed habitats. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of natural climate change solutions in the marine environment, the value and role that well-managed MPAs can play as a climate solution and to provide evidence of blue carbon potential to support future identification and management of MPAs, marine spatial planning and policy.
Action – Bex to invite representative from WG/NRW to sit on steering group – (completed)
Round table updates
Verbal updates received from:
- Rachel Sharp - Wildlife Trusts Wales
- Jetske Germing - Marine Energy Wales
- Gareth Cunningham - Marine Conservation Society
- Kirsty Lindenbaum – Natural Resources Wales
- Paul Renfro - Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
- Alys Morris - Severn Estuary Partnership
- David Harding – British Marine Aggregates Association
- Membership to be widened to include those with interest in contributing to actions of the Partnership – Hilary/Caryn
- Ministerial appointment to have small steering group – volunteers requested. Also reminder to send JDs (Rhian to follow up). – Hilary
- General agreement actions will be taken forward between full meetings without coming back to the main group where in line with aims, either by Secretariat e.g. a Partnership platform/Hub or through Working group meetings. – all
- Full Partnership meeting to move to 3 x per year on hybrid basis (but not by unanimous agreement so will try next one, and then review) - Hilary
- After the meeting closed there was general agreement Partners would tweet out regarding the change of name following the Decision Report being published.
Round up and date of next meetings
- 19 October: Sustainable Investment Working Group
- 27 October: Ocean Literacy Working Group
- 16 November: Funding Policy Advisory Group
- 16 November: Building Capacity Working Group
- 30 November: Governance Group (Ministerial Appointed Chair)
- 01 December: Sustainable Investment Working Group
- 14 December: Ocean Literacy Working Group
Wales Coasts and Seas Partnership meetings dates to be confirmed:
- February 2023
- June 2023
- October 2023 – In person meeting