For a long time, the sea did not exist for land-dwellers; even the coastline was seen as the edge of the land, and not as the edge of the sea. But the world is changing, and a growing number of communities and local authorities are now wanting to take ownership of the sea, or at least integrate it into their project space. SML assists communities at all stages of this process:
- Training of stakeholders in maritime issues and challenges;
- Territorial diagnosis: we apply our original approach of “Maritime and coastal capital”, which allows us to identify all the assets of the territory linked to the sea and the associated stakes: natural capital (heritage, resources, space…), human capital (knowledge, culture, governance…), technical capital (infrastructure, services and networks, capital and financial services…), as well as the associated development potential, but also the threats and risks.
- Maritime foresight: how will maritime issues evolve under the combined pressure of local, regional, global, natural or human dynamics, what are the possible scenarios and how can we adapt, prepare, influence or act to shape the future?
- Finally, drawing up a maritime and coastal strategy adapted to the territory, its stakes and the project owner’s levers of action (maritime component of SCOT, marine park, regional strategy or maritime component of SRADDET, etc.)
Our experience in this field covers the whole range of scales: community of municipalities, department, region, country.
For more than twenty years, the main maritime countries have been developing maritime policies to bring, first and foremost at the national level, but also at the international level, often with contradictory objectives of development and protection, cooperation and affirmation of power, shared management and sovereignty. SML has accompanied and supported the development of IMP in a dozen countries, and at the scale of regional seas or sub-regions (especially in the Mediterranean).
Our clients are international institutions, the European Commission, and coastal states wishing to develop economically their maritime assets (“Blue Economy”), to protect a shared and threatened marine environment.
Our interventions cover raising the awareness of stakeholders (public or private) of maritime governance, training public stakeholders in charge of policy development, assistance in drawing up IMP, defining implementation plans and programmes, managing them and evaluating IMP.
Thanks to technological progress, many activities develop at sea or move around to utilise resources (molecules and genes, biomass, minerals and metals, energy resources, etc.) and space (cables, ocean platforms, etc.).
These new projects must be implemented in a natural environment that is often difficult (wind, waves, swell, currents…), but also in a specific and demanding human environment. SML assists clients in integrating their projects into this environment, from the prospective stage to actual implementation:
- mapping of actors and stakes;
- identification of conflicts, risks and potential impacts
- developing original and innovative strategies and methodologies to address these issues.
Our experience covers a broad spectrum of project types at various stages of development, ranging from foresight on multi-purpose ocean platforms or integrated maritime monitoring systems to operational marine power generation projects (wind projects, hydroelectric projects, offshore thermal energy exploitation). Our clients are mainly large international groups.