Public participation

Everyone has the right to give their opinion before the launch of any coastal development project. So rather than just putting up with it, why not get involved?!

We can’t argue against each and every coastal development project. Why not? Because some of them contribute to the fight against climate change (global warming, rising waters, acidification of the oceans, etc.). One example would be marine renewable energy (MRE), namely offshore wind farms. Six such installations are planned for the Loire, Brittany and Normandy, the first of their kind off the French coast. Producing hundreds or even thousands of megawatts using nothing but wind power is certainly an attractive prospect… provided we remain vigilant about the negative impacts this could have on our environment.

Influence decisions

We need a solution to reconcile Humankind (and its activities) and Nature (and its vulnerabilities). That solution is public participation, and the magic word, dialogue. Dialogue between the project stakeholders and the general public. Enquiry, debate, round-tables… whatever form it may take, if we get involved in the decision-making process, we can influence the future!

How does public participation work? What are its limits? What are the 5 challenges for successful public participation? Surfrider provides citizens, communities and businesses with its public participation vision, born of the feedback gathered and studied in the field of MRE.

the right timing

“the most essential, the most difficult and the chief requisite in music is tempo”. The same goes for public participation...

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identify who's involved

Organising a consultation process before the project is launched is fundamental to public participation. But who should you approach? It’s important not to leave anyone out…

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legitimate dialogue

All concerned parties are identified and consulted beforehand. Now you just need to work out how much power they are granted…

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quality dialogue

Inviting all concerned parties to the debate is one thing. Ensuring that this exchange remains civil is quite another. It’s practically an art…

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a foundation of knowledge

Since we’re not all Aeolian engineers or environmental experts, the public participation process must include an information and education programme.

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summary: the 5 keys to effective public participation

A diagram to sum it all up.

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