Stakeholder and community involvement

Stakeholder and community involvement is an essential pre-requisite for good plan making. It is also necessary for compliance with human rights, public participation and environmental legislation.

Much valuable experience has been gained on how to deliver effective engagement strategies from many different sources. Marine planning initiatives can directly benefit from this learning and adapt it to the particular characteristics of marine planning.

Different levels of engagement may be appropriate depending on the purpose and nature of a given initiative (summarised in the table below, after REVIT, 2007).

Inform To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities and/or solutions.
Consult To obtain public feedback for decision-makers on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.
Involve To work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered in decision making processes.
Collaborate To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution.
Empower To place final decision-making in the hands of the public.