Community Engagement

Principles for Stakeholder Involvement in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Anon. Principles for Stakeholder Involvement in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. Udall Foundation, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution; 2011.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

In the CMSP decision-making process, as outlined in the NOP, decision-making authority is provided to the regional planning bodies, which are composed of federal, tribal, and state officials. The NOP recognizes that the coastal and marine spatial plans will need to respond to the needs of all who rely on the marine environment for economic and environmental services, and that effective consultation with the full range of these groups is essential to build the relationships needed to achieve national and regional goals for ocean management. Therefore, stakeholder involvement in the development of regional plans is an important responsibility assigned to the regional planning bodies.

The purpose of this document is to provide an overarching set of suggested principles for effectively engaging all stakeholders in a CMSP process. In developing this informational resource document, the Udall Foundation’s U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute) reviewed current and past CMSP stakeholder processes in the United States and internationally, analyzed academic literature on stakeholder engagement best practices, and reviewed surveys and white papers about desirable stakeholder involvement mechanisms from various interest groups, including government, tribal, environmental and ocean user groups. The principles described in this document are drawn from this research and from the U.S. Institute’s experience in developing similar guidelines for a range of complex federal and regional stakeholder involvement efforts.

Guidebook to Participatory Mapping of Ocean Uses

Anon. Guidebook to Participatory Mapping of Ocean Uses. Charleston, SC: NOAA Office for Coastal Management; 2014 p. 40. Available from: http://marinecadastre.gov/oceanuses/GuidebooktoParticipatoryMappingofOceanUses.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Understanding ocean use patterns can improve decision-making and planning in the marine environment by contributing vital foundational information. Engaging communities that use the ocean to provide this important foundational information has the added value of linking people to the planning process and building confidence in the results. The participatory mapping method described throughout this guidebook offers a proven approach for practitioners who are looking to make more informed decisions for the marine environment and the communities that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.

In planning a PGIS process, remember that the guidelines set forth in this document are just suggestions and that each process needs to be flexible and molded to best meet local needs. Keep in mind that the power of the process comes through building relationships with the target use community and learning about the history of planning and the hot-button issues that affect the daily lives of workshop participants. Remember that collecting data is one thing, and connecting with people and earning their trust is something entirely different. To successfully capture the data, make time to listen to participants’ perspectives, frustrations, and concerns, and encourage dialogue about often tricky and sensitive topics. Be honest, genuine, and transparent when messaging about the project, and prepare staff members with skills to facilitate communication on often contentious topics and with challenging personalities.

Remember that the communities participating in the workshops will continue on after the project ends. Consider what you are contributing to these participants and how the process can best serve them into the future. Always deliver on what you promise your partners and participants, and deliver it when you promise it.

Lastly, it is important to remember that every place is unique. Lessons learned in one locale, while they can indeed inform the process in another, should be modified to address the unique characteristics of the target community.

For more information, please visit www.marinecadastre.gov/oceanuses.

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