On the 15th of January we welcomed delegates to the first Irish Sea Maritime Forum Biennial Conference to be held in Wales. We were honoured to have the opportunity to host the event in the spectacular Pierhead Building that is part of the National Assembly for Wales estate in Cardiff. The aim of the conference was to bring together stakeholders from across the Irish Sea to learn about issues of current and shared interest and contribute to work updating the ISMF’s 2012 Irish Sea Issues and Opportunities Report.
The morning session provided an update from across the Irish Sea on Marine Planning and the development of the network of Marine Protected Areas and enabled delegates to discuss issues and opportunities associated with these important new arrangements. Over lunch Irish Sea projects gave small presentations as well as set up small exhibition stands to enable delegates to discuss and interact with partners involved in the projects. The afternoon session highlighted the latest UK Climate Change Impact Programme projections and associated activity in the Irish Sea region including the response of coastal authorities in Wales and work associated with protection of coastal heritage. Delegates were then able to contribute their thoughts on what Brexit might mean for the Irish Sea region and the role that the ISMF might play in relation to these. To conclude the day, a presentation on the new Irish Sea Centre that is currently being established in the Isle of Man and plans for the next ISMF Conference 2021 to be held in the Isle of Man.
Overall the day produced interesting thoughts and discussions on the future of the Irish Sea and how collaboration between stakeholders and the ISMF can help to contribute towards a better, more sustainable future for the region. We look forward to working alongside our Irish Sea partners on new and innovative ways of tackling the challenges and opportunities faced by Irish Sea stakeholders.
The conference is free of charge. We gratefully appreciate the support of David Melding AM Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Heritage, Culture and Media in sponsoring this event in the Pierhead building.
- Welcome: Senator Gerry Howkan (ISMF Chair) and David Melding AM
- Irish Sea Marine Planning Update: Dr Heather Ritchie and Linda McElduff
- Irish Sea Marine Protected Area Update: Sue Kidd and Caroline Salthouse
- Irish Sea Projects Exhibitions and Presentations: Ecostructure (Dr Joe Ironside); UK Seas (Jenny Oates); piSCES (Ateyah Alzahrani)
- Climate change and the Irish Sea: Reflections on the new UK Climate Change Impact Programme Projections: Professor Shunqui Pan
- Climate Change and Coastal Communities – A view from Denbighshire: Wayne Hope
- Climate Change and Coastal Heritage – a view from the CHERISH project: Dr Toby Driver
- Irish Sea Centre and 2020 ISMF Conference in Isle of Man: Roger Pullin, Sue Kidd