Highly Protected Marine Areas: stakeholder engagement plan

This stakeholder engagement plan outlines how stakeholders can engage with the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA) process and provide their input and views.

How we will engage

Between now and 2026 there are 3 main phases during which we are engaging with stakeholders (as set out below and as illustrated in figure 1):

1. A public consultation on the draft Policy Framework, Site Selection Guidelines and supporting documents will run from December 2022 until March 2023. To complement this consultation we will be holding a series of online sessions during early 2023. Numbers will be limited: you will be required to sign-up via the 'Get involved and keep updated' section of the HPMA website to attend.

2. A series of workshops to inform the development of proposed HPMAs running from Spring 2023 until late 2024. Numbers will be limited: you will be required to sign-up via the 'Get involved and keep updated' section of the HPMA website to attend.

3. A public consultation on the proposed locations for HPMAs in 2025, before final designation of sites in 2026.

Figure 1: Indicative timeline showing HPMA project milestones and engagement opportunities
Timeline diagram giving a visual summary of the information contained in the 'How we will engage' section.

The initial phase of the HPMA process is focused on producing the Policy Framework and Site Selection Guidelines. Following the end of public consultation these documents will be finalised and published. Their publication will mark the beginning of the next phase of site selection and assessment for HPMAs.

During the phase of site selection, a series of cross-sectoral themed workshops (Figure 2) will allow stakeholders to contribute to and comment on proposals as they emerge. The themes these workshops will focus on will include process, scientific evidence, emerging socio-economic impacts and potential impacts to island communities.

The workshop series below is indicative and subject to change. It is intended to support the development of HPMA proposals and is themed to that effect:

Figure 2: Indicative stakeholder workshop series
A series of arrows showing the series of six themed workshops which will be held between spring 2023 and late 2024, as set out in the numbered list.

1. Process, purpose and evidence - Introduce the published Policy Framework & Site Selection Guidelines. Discuss use of evidence, impacts & timelines

2. Third-party proposals - To assist with the opening of the third-party proposals process, templates and support

3. Themes and emerging ideas – Mapping of interests including a review of third-party proposals and visualising delivery of multiple benefits

4. Shaping HPMAs – Initial long list of broad proposals including 'options': balancing ecological benefits & socio-economic impacts

5. Emerging HPMAs – A review of shorter list of refined HPMA proposals – a reduced set of options still on the table – site specifics to be explored

6. Finalising HPMA proposals - Bilateral meetings and set-piece event to present further refined site proposals to be taken to formal consultation


Email: HPMA@gov.scot

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