Embedding Law in Participatory Processes Enables an Ecosystem Approach to Marine Decision Making: Analysis of a North Sea Example

Anne-Michelle Slater, Alison Macdonald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter discusses a project aimed at improving policy development and decision making in the marine environment, using a North Sea example. It describes the process of creating a participatory tool, tested through stakeholder workshops, against a scenario of extensive offshore wind development. The focus is on the role of the law and it concludes that the existing legal framework in Scotland, although complex can support the ecosystem approach to marine spatial planning. There are a number of detailed conclusions on the implementation of the legal and policy framework for marine spatial planning.

The project relied on a cross section of stakeholders who brought a range of knowledge and experience to the workshops. Feedback showed that this approach would be most effective at an early stage of the regulatory process. Potential for the process to be integral to the development of marine plans was also identified. Expansion to a wider group of stakeholders and local communities would result in an extended engagement and learning process. This would develop shared knowledge and understanding about the sea and the coast and result in truly well informed and effective marine plans in Scotland and elsewhere. It would also deliver the ecosystem approach in marine plan policies and marine planning decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Europe and Beyond
EditorsDavid Langlet, Rosemary Rayfuse
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-38998
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-38997-7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018

Publication series

NamePublications on Ocean Development
ISSN (Print)0924-1922


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