A shared vision for the development of MarPAMM Irish Regions management plans came a step closer this month when the last of the MarPAMM Stakeholder Steering Groups met to discuss their objectives for a MPA Management Plan for Murlough Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Co. Down.
Three MarPAMM stakeholder steering groups have been formed, from a wide range of different sectors, activities and interest groups, including marine and environmental conservationists, community groups, statutory organisations and private business.
The steering groups are:
- The MarPAMM Irish Region Stakeholder Steering Group (chaired by Kevin Quigley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority);
- The MarPAMM Carlingford Lough SPA Stakeholder Steering group (chaired by Judith Caldwell, AONB & Geopark Officer, Newry Mourne and Down District Council); and
- The MarPAMM Murlough SAC Stakeholder Steering Group (chaired by Dr Donal Griffin, Northern Ireland Marine Task Force Officer).
Highlighting the importance of stakeholder involvement in the MarPAMM project, Kevin Quigley said:
“So often despite the best intentions projects miss best outcomes because of a gap between theory and practice. I am confident that all stakeholders have been impressed by the level of engagement so far and know that the practical experience they bring is both valued and key to the successful conclusion of this project.”
The primary function of the steering groups is to advise on the development of their respective MPA management plan and steer its progress. As Judith Caldwell noted in relation to her group’s area of focus:
“Carlingford Lough Special Protection Area (SPA) is a very important conservation site for several reasons, including supporting nationally and internationally important breeding bird populations, such as the sandwich tern. As newly-elected Chair of the Carlingford Lough SPA Stakeholder Steering Group, I look forward to working with the stakeholder representatives on the group, supporting the MarPAMM project in the development of a marine protected area plan that effectively manages and protects this important coastal marine site for both nature and local communities.”
It is clear that the project’s success is dependent upon the expertise and knowledge of all its stakeholders. TCI Engagement and MarPAMM officers undertook an extensive stakeholder mapping exercise to ensure a broad representation of the many different interests in this project are included in this group. If you believe a sector or key stakeholder is missing, please let us know at the email address below.
A Wider Liaison Group virtual workshop is being held on 4 May to which all stakeholders in the MarPAMM project on the island of Ireland are invited.