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Celebrating Scotland's Coast

Scotland’s seven Local Coastal Partnerships (LCPs) jointly hosted an event on Tuesday 09 December 2014 at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the contribution they have made to integrated coastal zone management over two decades and their continuing role in developing marine planning. The event, which was supported by the Scottish Coastal Forum, was well attended by many stakeholders and MSPs, including Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead and the Shadow Cabinet Secretary, Sarah Boyack. It was a rare opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders from around Scotland to get together and engage in enjoyable and lively discussion about the coast.

Also on 09 December, Rhoda Grant MSP sponsored a members’ debate which recognised the diversity, value and enjoyment of our coasts and seas and the wide-ranging work undertaken by LCPs to meet local needs. Mr. Lochhead replied to the motion and acknowledged that LCPs have helped to shape and influence national policy in this country. In response to a question by Rhoda Grant regarding the future role of the Local Coastal Partnerships in Regional Marine Planning, Mr Lochhead said

“We are at a very early stage… We want to ask the partnerships what role they feel that they can play, and what support they require from the Government to play it in the future. I strongly encourage that bottom-up approach. That is the value of the partnerships around Scotland’s coasts.”

“Looking forward, I believe that the Government’s plan to establish marine planning partnerships at a regional level will ensure that the work of the local coastal partnerships is continued and developed. We are working closely with the Firth of Clyde forum and with those in Shetland to establish formal marine planning partnerships in those areas, to which I referred earlier.

The experience of local coastal partnerships, their engagement with local communities, the issues that they tackle and their ways of working provide many learning points for the development of regional marine planning in the coming years.”