Engaging Ocean Users

To ensure ocean users are engaged and have adequate resources to participate fairly and fully in the MSP process, WWF conducted a Stakeholder Analysis and Equivalence Gap Analysis Focused on IPs and Gender and a Capacity Needs Assessment which informed training workshops for stakeholders.

© Pete Oxford


To ensure ocean users are engaged and have adequate resources to participate fairly and fully in the MSP process, the project conducted a Stakeholder Analysis and Equivalence Gap Analysis focused on IPs and Gender and a Capacity Needs Assessment which informed training workshops for stakeholders.

Stakeholder Analysis

A stakeholder analysis was conducted to inform and guide the full engagement of stakeholders, and to empower key stakeholders in this action. MSP requires a participatory process that will facilitate open dialogue with and the active participation of key stakeholders. Furthermore, a participatory process is also necessary to facilitate the acquirement and use of multidisciplinary data to inform the spatial management.

In Guyana, the stakeholder analysis collected valuable secondary data on government agencies and the laws, policies rules and regulations that govern the MSP related mandate of these institutions. Potential avenues for collaboration and/contribution were suggested based on information collected. This information was very valuable in immediately improving the efficiency in engaging these institutions and informing future project design and implementation.

Most stakeholders in Guyana are very important to the success of the project were government agencies, coastal communities, and Indigenous coastal communities. Stakeholders who were categorised as being moderately important were also mainly government agencies however, these agencies were not perceived to have as much influence on MSP policy and were mainly tasked with monitoring and enforcement, for example the Guyana Police Force’s marine branch and the Guyana Defence Force’s coast guard. Regional organs of government such as the NDCs (Neighbourhood Democratic Councils) and RDCs (Regional Democratic Councils) along the coast were also classed as being important especially for the participatory mapping phase of the project.

Stakeholders considered to be moderately important were mainly Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), civil society groups, some commercial entities and government agencies whose mandate deals mainly with data management. NGOs and civil society were noted to be of key importance when it came to increasing the visibility of the project and in data generation. These groups have excellent reach to the general population and play an instrumental role in the acceptance of many national environmental projects e.g. the Mangrove Project.

Equivalence Gap Analysis Focused on Indigenous Peoples and Gender

The Equivalence Gap Analysis for Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Gender screened for the impacts on Indigenous Peoples and women to ensure that stakeholders from marginalized groups are enabled to participate actively, fully, fairly, and with an understanding of the different motivations, stakes, and constraints of an action/process.

The analysis identified several gaps that impact the full participation of these specific groups of marginalized stakeholders. While capacity building can respond to some gaps, it will take more than this to address the challenges impacting the participation of these marginalized groups. Continued actions in this area will remain relevant and necessary.

The analysis provides a solid foundation for future action in this area and will be especially useful to national stakeholders who continue to pursue MSP actions.

Capacity Needs Assessments and Capacity Building/Training

A Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) identified gaps in and highlighted existing and latent capacity. The CNA is publicly available via the Suriname project website and was shared with the stakeholders through capacity building activities, such as workshops, training courses, and certificate program activities. One such activity was the Blue Solutions online training by the CBD that enables planners and decision makers to develop and engage in marine and coastal planning and implementation processes.

Blue Planning in Practice workshops were held virtually in Guyana with various stakeholders from across key groups benefitted. Stakeholders gained knowledge and skills and practiced participatory mapping through the use of a virtual platform – SeaSketch practice participatory mapping. 

Other training needs included community-based engagement, conflict resolution, advocacy, coastal management, and tourism management.