Welsh National Marine Plan: Implementation Guidance.


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The Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) is the first Marine Plan for Welsh Waters. It sets out the Welsh Government’s vision and objectives for the Welsh marine plan area and policies to support their achievement, helping marine users and those undertaking land-based activities (with the potential to affect the plan area) to support the sustainable development of our seas. The WNMP supports sustainable development by guiding and supporting effective, proportionate and consistent decision making. The WNMP will apply to all decisions with the potential to affect the marine plan area. In this context, decision makers are defined as the (Relevant) Public Bodies or Relevant Public Authorities (RPAs) who make decisions relating to the marine area. The Guidance provides details of Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) policies and how to apply them.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Nature protection
Oil and gas exploitation
Submarine cables and pipelines
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Cross-border cooperation
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Resilience to climate change
Sea-basin cooperation
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Habitats and Birds Directive
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Strategic Environmental Assessment

Questions this practice may help answer: 

What is the WNMP Implementation Guidance? 

Who should use the WNMP Implementation Guidance? 

Implementation Context: 

This guidance should ensure that WNMP policies are implemented effectively and consistently. It should be read alongside the WNMP.

Aspects / Objectives: 

The WNMP provides an integrated set of objectives and policies for the sustainable development of Wales’ marine plan area. 


The WNMP and IG signpost to other legislation and guidance where relevant. Further information and supporting material is also available from:

● The WNMP Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment reports and other WNMP impact assessments;

● Strategic evidence, for example the Wales Marine Evidence Report (WMER) and the State of Natural Resources Report;

● The Wales Marine Planning Portal2 and neighbouring marine plan evidence portals or databases;

● Topic specific Welsh Government Marine Planning Notices (MPNs) which provide supplementary technical detail to inform WNMP implementation3 ;

● Related and relevant policy and guidance; 

● The WNMP Monitoring and Reporting Framework and monitoring reports.

Main Outputs / Results: 

This supplementary Implementation Guidance (IG) supports the WNMP and is a consideration for Public Authorities in taking decisions which may affect the plan area. It provides further detail on WNMP policies to help ensure they are implemented effectively and consistently; it does not introduce new planning policy. This IG sits alongside other non-statutory plan related policy, guidance and evidence to support marine planning for Wales and will be updated periodically.


The National Marine Plan is developed for Wales and is not applicable to other regions.

Responsible Entity: 

Welsh Government

Costs / Funding Source: 

Welsh Government

Contact person: 

Welsh Government