DHLGH maps sustainable future for Ireland’s marine environments
Press Release : 09/10/2023
- ArcGIS technology used to develop an online version of the National Marine Planning Framework providing information covering approximately 490,000km2 of maritime area
- Data made accessible to a broader range of stakeholders including coastal authorities, government departments, and the public
- This cloud-first approach is supporting effective marine planning for a more sustainable future
Esri Ireland, the market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has announced that its digital mapping software is underpinning sustainability for Ireland’s marine environments.
To guide economic, social, and environmental decisions relating to the sea around Ireland, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) developed the National Marine Planning Framework, which provided information on a maritime area covering approximately 490,000km2. DHLGH needed to make this data easier to find and use for a broader range of stakeholders including coastal authorities, government departments, and the public.
Using its ArcGIS technology, Esri Ireland developed an online version of the National Marine Planning Framework, known as Marineplan.ie. This interactive digital hub is a single source for data and government policies relating to Ireland’s marine space, which is 7.5 times greater than the country’s landmass.
The solution supports the Irish Government’s cloud-first approach and is supporting effective marine planning for a more sustainable future. It is already being used to inform the development of new Designated Marine Area Plans, showing where future renewable power facilities could potentially be sited. It’s also enabling better-informed, evidence-based decision making for organisations undertaking marine projects such as siting locations for wind turbines, planning new shipping routes, and the construction of undersea pipelines.
Increased collaboration and transparency
The technology is improving workflows and delivering time savings within the public sector, increasing inter-governmental collaboration for policy makers across more than 30 departments and agencies with central access to marine information. The hub, hosted on ArcGIS Online, is particularly useful for coastal local authorities, who recently assumed responsibility for activities up to three nautical miles offshore. Authorities can use the hub to refer to unfamiliar policies relating to these newly assigned areas and identify the best courses of action. In addition, the solution is relieving pressure on DHLGH’s internal GIS teams, eliminating the need to build and maintain the underlying IT infrastructure.
Accessible to everyone, the technology is also providing greater transparency around Ireland’s marine policies. It enables citizens to explore and interact with marine data from a trusted source with an easy-to-use interactive interface, built using ArcGIS Experience Builder.
Juliet Fitzpatrick, Assistant Principal Officer, Marine Planning Policy and Legislation at DHLGH: “Using ArcGIS allows us to focus our time where it is most needed. Marineplan.ie gives decision-makers a good understanding of the possible impacts of their planned activities and lets them know about the government policies that they will need to consider. In addition, it gives people without GIS expertise and without access to their own GIS software the answers they need straight away. Furthermore, it will assist the achievement of government targets in areas such as renewable power, by helping the Irish Government and local authorities to make decisions in a timely manner.”
Padraig Quinn, Account Manager, Esri Ireland: “Esri Ireland listened to DHLGH’s unique requirements, built a test solution and then modified the solution as the project progressed to incorporate new ideas. Developed with Esri’s ArcGIS system, this easy-to-use online data hub is supporting Ireland’s marine industry and helping the government to achieve its goals for a sustainable future. This first-of-its-kind solution makes policies and data relating to Ireland’s marine environment widely accessible to drive engagement across the board and increase understanding of this vital natural resource.”