Good governance and the role of the public in Scotland's marine spatial planning system
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is designed partly to implement the ecosystem-based approach to the management of marine resources worldwide. This article focuses on the principles of good governance to which MSP is tied: principles of transparency and participation. With increasing efforts to analyse the impact of MSP, it is timely to explore its commitment to these principles of good governance. Guided by governance theory this paper explores the opportunities that exist in Scotland's MSP system for communities to voice their opinions in decision-making processes. Whilst authorities in Scotland are doing a good job of transferring the National Marine Plan to local planning regions, there are some issues relating to planning partnerships in these regions and the activities of the Crown Estate. Further analysis is offered by considering terrestrial planning in Scotland, where communities often feel excluded and are challenging the status quo in planning processes through alternative, informal governance arrangements. The roles and rights of communities have taken centre stage in land reform debates, which has not been the case in MSP. By looking outward (and inland) it might be possible to design a more adaptable and inclusive MSP system.
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