The Government’s online mapping portal for Ireland’s marine spatial planning is now live at marineplan.ie. The site is an important tool for accessible stakeholder engagement with the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). The site links planning within the maritime area and the relevant policies for each marine sector or activity listed in the NMPF. The site itself has three main areas including:
- the Activities map – an interactive mapping tool displaying marine activities included in the NMPF.
- Activities – a section which allows users to learn more about the Environmental, Economic and Social sections of the NMPF’s Overarching Marine Planning Policies, including more information about each sector or activity in the plan’s Key Sectoral or Activity Policies.
- The Policies Map – an interactive mapping tool allowing users to examine the specific policies within the NMPF that apply to a user-selected area of interest within Ireland’s maritime area.
In addition to these main sections, the website further breaks down the NMPF into user-friendly, thematic sections, where individual key sectoral policies are easily accessed. There is also an information page showing all Government departments and agencies with a role in the maritime area, and there is additional information relating to specific policies throughout the website including links to relevant legislation and policy documents related to marine spatial planning in Ireland. All the mapping data used on the site is accessible separately through the Government’s Open Data Portal – data.gov.ie.
The website and interactive mapping tools are good steps towards better stakeholder engagement with the NMPF and marine spatial planning in Ireland, allowing interested parties and the general public to easily visualise and access the key inputs and policies related to marine spatial planning in Ireland. Considering the wide range of interested parties and users of the marine area this is an important part of Ireland’s efforts at introducing an inclusive and effective spatial planning strategy for our Maritime Area.