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Welsh legislation in a new era: a stakeholder perspective for coastal management

McKinley, Emma ORCID: and Ballinger, Rhoda C. ORCID: 2018. Welsh legislation in a new era: a stakeholder perspective for coastal management. Marine Policy 97 , pp. 253-261. 10.1016/j.marpol.2018.06.005

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In Wales, there has been a concerted change in policy direction with a suite of new legislation developed since 2013. Together, these Acts are being presented as a mechanism for affecting real change in how social, economic and environmental issues are addressed across Wales, with a particular focus on an integrated and holistic approach to policy and management across all sectors. From a coastal ecosystem perspective, these Acts have the potential to improve coordination of management, resulting in more sustainable, long-term solutions to the challenges facing Welsh coastal areas. However, despite the positive rhetoric currently being presented alongside these governance changes, their impact remains to be seen. In order for the legislation to realise its expected successes, engagement with practitioners charged with implementing these new Acts is crucial to understanding the opportunities, challenges, successes and failures. Using saltmarshes as a lens through which to examine this new legislation, this paper presents the findings of a series of interviews with stakeholders from north Wales, providing an insight into coastal practitioners’ views of what the legislative changes mean for them. The paper also identifies potential challenges and opportunities associated with the new legislation in the context of coastal management. A SWOT analysis is used to inform a discussion of how the successful application of this innovative, and ground-breaking, suite of legislation in Wales may be achieved. The research found stakeholders to be generally positive about the new legislation, and the changes to coastal management that they signal across Wales. Opportunities discussed included supporting greater collaboration, cross-sector working, interdisciplinarity and the potential to provide a blueprint for the rest of the UK as it navigates the EU exit process. Despite this positivity, concerns were expressed regarding funding and staff resources, lack of adequate support around implementation, among others. This integrated approach to coastal governance clearly stands as an opportunity to bridge traditional sectoral gaps, and instigate more effective dialogue between stakeholders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0308-597X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 14 June 2018
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 00:00

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