A summary of the partnership's purpose and how it will work.
The purpose of this document is to set out the function, composition, responsibilities and operating arrangements of the Wales Coasts and Seas Partnership (CaSP Cymru).
The previous Wales Marine Action and Advisory Group (WMAAG) was formed in 2014 to provide overarching strategic advice in developing the Marine Transition Plan. Since then the group has evolved and grown in membership. The group is now a partnership of stakeholders who are committed to working collaboratively to achieve our shared vision as set out in the Welsh National Marine Plan (on GOV.WALES) and specifically the Shared Narrative, see Annex A.
In June 2021 the group submitted a proposal to the Minister for Climate Change entitled ‘Leading a Blue Recovery’. It set out a package of actions which could be included in an implementation plan, recognising much of the work already underway. The focus on resilient marine ecosystems and the growth they could deliver through nature-based solutions and community-based capacity building aligns with the 2021 Programme for Government ambitions for a green (and blue) transformation. The proposals also align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”
In September 2021 the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, accepted the proposal and asked members to support action to both help coastal communities to recover from the Covid pandemic and to achieve our vision of Welsh seas that are clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse. The revised terms of reference reflect the renewed focus for the group as well as retaining an oversight of wider activity across the Marine and Fisheries Division of the Welsh Government and members of the partnership.
Purpose and high-level aims
The partnership brings together a broad range of strategic interest groups to facilitate collaboration across the marine and coastal sector to:
- Ensure effective and meaningful engagement in relation to the delivery of Welsh Government’s ambition for clean, healthy, sustainably managed and biologically diverse seas.
- Maintain oversight of action across Welsh Government and the wider Partnership, and share information across their stakeholder networks.
- Focus on 3 specific enabling actions at all levels to support the sustainable use of our marine ecosystems and resources and enhance the benefits they offer:
- Ocean Literacy – building understanding of how people, communities and businesses across Wales connect with Welsh coasts and seas, the impact of our collective and individual actions on the ocean’s health and how the ocean’s health impacts our everyday lives, leading to improvements in how we manage and use our coasts and seas
- Sustainable Investment – securing innovative and longer-term forms of public, private and blended finance will help deliver key objectives, including restoring Marine Protected Areas and transforming socio-economic systems
- Building capacity – enabling collaboration and co-production to encourage co-ordinated action, locally within our communities, nationally, and cross border, to respond to changing needs and conditions as the pressures on our coasts and seas increase.
Objective and outputs
Over the next 3 years members of the partnership will work together, and with partners, stakeholders and local communities to deliver these 3 themes through a programme of work, to underpin our vision and ambitions for resilient coasts and seas.
The partnership will collaboratively identify, facilitate and deliver actions and outputs to achieve the purpose and high-level aims.
- Developing and delivering a Wales Ocean Literacy strategy and action plan focussing on fostering and enhancing an understanding of the importance of our seas and their stewardship.
- Developing a long-term funding model to support delivery of actions to build the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems and sectors.
- Developing and delivering a flexible model for meaningful engagement with coastal communities at a local level to enable the identification of impacts on communities, and bottom-up solutions, projects and opportunities, and the identification of evidence needs to facilitate sustainable development.
Governance and ways of working
The partnership is the overarching Marine stakeholder group for the Marine and Fisheries Division of the Welsh Government, who will provide the Secretariat, and track and record progress on the aims, objective and outputs.
The partnership aims to recognise, adapt and embody the 5 ways of working of the Well-being of Future Generations Act: collaboration, integration, involvement, long term and prevention.
The membership aims to:
- be as inclusive as possible ensuring appropriate representation from all who have an interest in the marine area of Wales (business sectors e.g. energy, fishing, community, environment, local government, recreation and leisure)
- ensure a balance between the interest groups and geographical coverage while keeping the group to a manageable size.
See Annex B for current membership.
- Represent the views of Welsh stakeholders and their sector, bringing forward any issues arising
- Communicate and disseminate key information to stakeholder networks and are encouraged to actively contribute to achieving the aims, objectives and outputs of the Partnership in whatever capacity they can.
The group is currently led by an independent chair, who has been appointed on contract. From 2023 onwards the chair will be appointed by, and will report to, the Minister for Climate Change.
CaSP Cymru meetings will be held at least 3 times per year with the aim to hold one meeting each quarter. Meetings will be a blend of online and in-person meetings.
Working groups / Task and Finish groups
Working groups may need to be established to progress certain areas of work, defining further actions. Task and Finish Groups may be set up for a defined period to undertake a specific task and will be disbanded once the task has been completed. Groups will be chaired and run by members of the partnership, reporting back to the full group.
Membership of Working or Task and Finish groups is encouraged from wider stakeholders outside of the core Partnership membership.
Groups can determine the frequency of their meetings, with an expectation of meeting at least once between each partnership meeting.
Current groups are:
- Ocean Literacy Working Group led by Natural Resources Wales
- Sustainable Investment Working Group led by the Marine Conservation Society
- Building Capacity Working Group led by current CaSP Cymru Chair.