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Irish national marine plan milestone makes waves

Words: Roger Milne
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Wild Atlantic Way Route

A milestone was reached this week in the process of developing Ireland’s first marine spatial plan, which will be the equivalent of the National Planning Framework (NPF) for the marine area.

For the first time the government has published a document that provides a clear picture of all activity in Ireland’s seas.

This is the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report. Consultation on the document and the issues it highlights has begun.

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Damien English has specific responsibility for marine planning. He said: “When we see the demands being placed on our marine area clearly laid out we can effectively consider whether those demands can be met simultaneously or whether some management or governance is required.

“As we move further along the process of plan-making, feedback on the report will play a critical part in anticipating future spatial needs and balancing the ecological, economic and social elements of the marine area in a sustainable fashion.”

The National Marine Planning Framework is expected to be adopted in late 2020 and will recognise the importance of integration and coordination with the land planning regime at national, regional and local level.

Image credit | iStock