Government Buy-In for Collaborative Planning

Published: 22 January 2021
Last edited: 22 January 2021

SeaSketch is designed to be used primarily for collaborative planning. We've focused on Marine Spatial Planning, but the software can be used for terrestrial planning as well. Furthermore, the software is intended to help generate ocean zoning solutions. If these zones are to have a meaningful impact, such as conservation or benefits to the blue economy, there needs to be buy-in to the planning process by the host government institutions. If zones developed in SeaSketch are not legally adopted, they are less likely to have the desired effect. 


Co-management building
Management planning
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Inception phase
Documentation and dissemination of results

Enabling factors

A legal mandate for marine spatial planning is essential, without which plans are unlikely to be adopted. Furthermore, successful implementation of SeaSketch requires a genuine commitment to stakeholder engagement at various levels. It is one thing to set up a SeaSketch project with maps, sketch classes, forums and surveys, but it is another thing entirely to structure a planning process so that SeaSketch is used by stakeholders. One must create an accompanying stakeholder engagement plan to ensure stakeholders make good use of the tool.

Lessons learned

A legal mandate for collaborative marine spatial planning and that maximizes stakeholder participation is essential. Without a mandate and a timeline for planning, one can plan for ages without generating a zoning solution. Simply having collaborative planning tools will not ensure that stakeholders will be engaged or that solutions reflect a variety of stakeholder interests.