By the time the Devon Maritime Forum convenes in Plymouth for this conference, we would have had a week to digest the result and think about the ramifications of the historic EU in/out referendum.
Leave or remain, however, things will be different come 24 June, whether we face the prospect of a new legislative landscape and relationship with our maritime neighbours or whether we choose to renew our commitment to an existing course. Whatever direction is chosen, and wherever our maritime/marine policy emanates from (be it Westminster or Brussels), it will be imperative that as both a sector and a region we are strategically positioned to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that will present themselves over the coming decade; and crucial that we have a clear vision of how we can grow the blue economy, protect our precious marine environment, and build greater community resilience in the face coastal and climate change.
In the relatively calm waters of the immediate aftermath of the referendum result, therefore, we will take a moment to pause, take a collective breath and take stock of the progress (or lack of) that has been made to date in working towards both our individual sectoral goals and shared vision of ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’, both nationally and here in Devon.
This conference will:
Provide a unique opportunity to hear, at a critical juncture, from three key national marine and coastal figures, representing the three key economy, environment, and society ‘pillars’, about recent progress, current priorities and future challenges in their respective sectors.
Recognise, that while sometimes complementary, often these key sectors or ‘pillars’ can have competing or conflicting agendas. We will hear a number of - in the field - examples of where blue growth and marine conservation agendas come into conflict and how such conflicts and competing ambitions can be practically managed and reconciled. We will also identify areas of common ground and mutual interest, around which compromise and consensus can be built, as well as highlight the crucial role both planning and coastal partnerships can play in minimising conflict and finding areas of common ground.
Identify the key issues and challenges specific and relevant to the different maritime sectors here in the South West. Over the course of six short five-minute soapbox presentations we will hear from among others the Local Nature Partnership as well as from the local fisheries, coastal tourism, and coastal community sectors.
Provide the chance for the forum, for you, to have your say. In sector specific break-out groups delegates will be able to collectively and individually identify and highlight locally specific, sectoral issues, concerns, and barriers to progress. We will hear how local issues and challenges are being successfully addressed, by whom and what resources are required to move forward.
Identify how and where, we in Devon, can work closer together to ensure an integrated, sustainable approach to the management our coasts and seas and provide a unique opportunity to collectively contribute to the development of a Maritime Strategy for Devon and a model regional-scale, cross-sectoral cooperation.
The conference offers a unique opportunity to meet and network with a large and truly cross-sectoral range of marine and coastal stakeholders.
The registration fee is £45 and covers venue hire, lunch, teas and coffees. A discounted rate of £20 is available for students. Please contact Jason Tear on 01392 382551 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org to register a place and to make payment.
The Devon Maritime Forum is kindly supported by Plymouth University Marine Institute, South West Water, Devon County Council, Devon Wildlife Trusts, University of Exeter, Royal HaskoningDHV, Brend Hotels and the National Trust.