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Postcard from the Overarching Stakeholder Workshop in Zandvoort, Netherlands

Photo courtesy of HuFoSS

Both researchers and stakeholders from the Horizon EU Marine SABRES and MARBEFES projects came together on 19-20 March 2024 in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, for a joint, 2-day engagement workshop.

The workshop was conducted with a view to sharing an overview of results gathered from previous stakeholder interviews and surveys, as well as to engage stakeholders and researchers in meaningful discussions around the results. Researchers sought to gain stakeholder impressions, suggestions and further input into the development and co-creation of decision support tools for marine and coastal management within the project research areas. A total of 13 stakeholders were selected from the 231 representatives that were interviewed in the previous phases, to come together with 19 researchers for more focused and dedicated discussions.

Photos courtesy of HuFoSS and MaREI

The 2-days provided a crucial platform for engaging stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers and consolidating varying perceptions on the social-ecological systems of coastal areas. This is a crucial step towards achieving stakeholder-supported management practices in coastal areas, fostering collaboration, and enhancing the impact of research outcomes for both MarineSABRES and MARBEFES projects.

Policy Brief Workshop

A workshop on Policy Briefs was also held, which was aimed at gathering stakeholder ideas regarding topics for these outputs. Workshop participants were informed about the briefs due to be developed by the Marine SABRES project, examples were shown and their purpose of informing policy makers and non-specialists was explained. Stakeholders were then asked to suggest topics for future briefs that they think would be useful and helpful to decision-makers in their own areas. A number of useful suggestions and ideas were gathered, both verbally and using the Mentimeter platform. 

Overall, stakeholders felt that Policy Briefs are a useful and important output and should be short and specific and include eye-catching visual elements and infographics. Futhermore, conclusions or recommendations should be kept to a small number that could be absorbed quickly by decision makers. It was also considered important to allow the briefs to be produced in different languages where appropriate. Areas of suggestion for topics included the efficacy of protection measures, biodiversity, interdepartmental co-operation protocols, marine system resilience, policy regarding environmental constraints and many more!

New horizons

Perspectives were bridged and the event created a closer camaraderie among stakeholders and researchers. The workshop was successful for all involved and provided a great opportunity to get acquainted for future collaborations and cooperation.

The workshops were also covered by Spanish media and by our Dutch project partner, HuFoSS (which features a lovely video overview), and Italian project stakeholders, ISPRA. These articles are linked below!


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