The World Ocean Council (WOC) is launching a two-year effort to improve ocean business community understanding, collaboration and participation in U.S. ocean policy and marine spatial planning (MSP) developments.
The WOC program includes:
• Organizing a national business conference on U.S. ocean policy in 2014.
• Developing an ocean business community roster in each of the 9 MSP regions.
• Establishing ocean business leadership fora in 3 of the MSP regions.
Private sector involvement is essential to achieving balanced and lasting outcomes to marine policy and management efforts. For example, without business involvement in MSP – which seeks to guide the intensity and location of uses in an area – there is a significant risk that planning will not fully consider existing and potential economic activities and will miss out on key marine resource, use and ecosystem information held by industry. Business participation in MSP is critical to ensuring it delivers its proposed benefits to responsible industry operators, such as streamlined permitting.
Although the WOC effort is focused on the U.S., the outputs will be of importance to the ocean business community in other countries and regions where ocean policies and MSP are under development, e.g. Europe, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.
The Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) – 22-24 April, 2013, Washington, D.C. – includes an important session on MSP that will provide input to the new WOC program by addressing:
• What is the business case for MSP?
• How can ocean industries ensure they are informed and engaged in a coordinated, pro-active manner?
• What is needed to make sure that MSP reflects the needs and opportunities of industry involvement?
The WOC project on ocean policy and planning in the U.S. is possible thanks to support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
WOC, February 11, 2013