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Benefits of stakeholder action

  • Reduced environmental impacts result in a healthier marine environment that provides long-term social and economic benefits.
  • Voluntary actions that improve sustainability could bring commercial benefits through reduced risks, liabilities and costs, improved reputation among customers and shareholders, and possible environmental accreditation.
  • Proactive stakeholders are more informed and more able to influence MSFD measures.
  • Collaborative actions will improve stakeholders’ negotiating position and enhance opportunities to voice their interests through participation.
  • Individual and collaborative actions could help achieve targets such as GES, and in a more cost-effective and acceptable way.
  • Voluntary action may reduce the likelihood and need for regulation. Stakeholders have the knowledge and experience to identify issues and solutions.

There are of course risks of inaction when activities are managed on a voluntary basis. Voluntary initiatives can fail if even one or two individuals choose not to adhere to agreements. For any voluntary initiative, it will be vital to get support from all concerned. Some initiatives that begin on a voluntary basis eventually become statutory.

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