Policy and governance; Regulation; marine spatial planning; economic and social drivers and effects; stakeholder and policy mapping
SAMS UHI have experts to consider the interactions between different marine sectors, including: renewable energy, aquaculture, fisheries and conservation. We consider synergies and trade-offs between these different uses, and the policy and institutional context of planning the seas. We investigate how marine policy and planning can balance short verses long term objectives and govern the cumulative social and environmental impacts of change across sectors to achieve sustainable development. We also focus on developing new mixed method approaches for project and policy evaluation. Rooting economic impact analysis in ecological economics and policy analysis will reduce the gap between aggregate quantitative methods and local and non-monetary approaches, thus providing more nuanced and realistic results relevant to policymakers and communities alike.
Example projects: KnowSeas, EECSAF, AquaFellow, Seychelles Blue Economy
This thread investigates the social and cultural capital and the resilience of maritime communities, with an emphasis on remote and peripheral communities. Examples of research topics include the implications of top down versus bottom up approaches to nature conservation, marine cultural values at the arts/science interface, the role of local agents for change in renewable energy development in small island communities, community engagement within marine spatial planning and renewable energy developments, social ‘licence’ for industries to operate within a community, and social entrepreneurship and innovation. In all our research, the identification of the local context is a critical starting point for understanding impacts, transitions and change.
Marine Spatial Planning; Environmental impact assessment; GIS computer modelling for aquaculture
NAFC Marine Centre UHI is involved in a Marine Planning Advisory Group and co-ordinates the Marine Spatial Planning section within the Department of Marine Science and Technology. The section administers the Shetland Marine Spatial Plan, provides advice to developers and undertakes research to guide sustainable marine use and development.
Economic reporting and analysis
The university Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) can also be called upon to provide reports and consultancies with all work interpreted by our team of experienced economists and sector specialists on, for example,
- Interpretation of Key Socio-Economic Indicators
- International, national, regional and local trends for public sector and other organisations and businesses
- Medium and long term forecasting
- Labour market analysis