Marine Spatial Planning and the Preparation of Designated Maritime Area Plans (DMAPs)

The Northern and Western Regional Assembly commissioned Dr Cormac Walsh to undertake a study of best practices in regional based marine spatial planning. Dr Walsh was tasked with identifying a process to develop a blueprint for area-based management that accounts for multiple management objectives that supports the protection of the marine environment and growth of our marine economy in the Northern and Western region of Ireland.

Dr Cormac Walsh is an internationally recognised expert on marine spatial planning and has authored numerous scientific publications and applied policy reports on MSP and coastal management.

In his Position Paper, Dr Walsh undertakes a critical review of Ireland’s National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF), examines options for the preparation of Designated Maritime Area Plans (DMAPs) for the Northern and Western Region (NWR), provides a review of learnings from international best practice, and undertakes a scoping assessment of economic opportunities specific to the marine economy of the NWR. The Paper identifies regional governance options for the rollout of Designated Marine Area Plans and outlines a series of recommendations on practical steps to be taken to progress MSP in the Northern and Western Region. This is the first study to address the regional dimension of marine spatial planning in Ireland.

The report was presented to Members of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly at its June Monthly meeting whereby it was warmly welcomed and fully endorsed by the Assembly. The Position Paper is available below:

Marine Spatial Planning & DMAPS