Solent Forum Core Services
The five objectives of the Solent Forum are the foundation of our core service. Detailed below are the various services we deliver to members.
The Solent Forum meets every six months (March and September) to consider issues that are topical to the management of the Solent and its coast. The half day meeting rotates around Southampton, Portsmouth and Cowes on the Island of Wight. The meeting commences with a work programme update by the Solent Forum staff and is followed by lunch. Recent presentations have included the Marine Bill and ICZM Strategy (Defra), Water Framework Directive (Environment Agency) and the Solent Waterfront Strategy (Seeda). All Forum members are invited to attend.
The Solent Forum membership is large and represents a variety of sectors. To consider particular matters strategically the Solent Forum has set up subgroups. There are currently two subgroups in operation, Water Quality Group and Nature Conservation. Such groups contribute many outputs to the overall management of the Solent and wider stakeholder community.
The Solent Forum manages two websites; one that provides a one-stop shop of information on the work of the Forum and and a second site that gives information on all the different aspects of the Solent and its management. The first site is called solentforum.org and the latter Solentpedia.
Solent News is the Forum's newsletter that is published every six months (spring and autumn) to inform Solent Forum members and other interested parties about what has been happening locally around the Solent and both nationally and internationally in coastal matters. It is timed to provide information to members at quarterly intervals between Solent Forum meetings. The Forum also posts coastal and Solent news items on this website and produces a monthly email newsletter. To be added to our mailing lists or to contribute articles please contact the Forum Office.
The aim of this project is to establish a robust set of environmental, social and economic indicators, which can be widely understood by the public, as a basis for future monitoring of the health of the Solent. The Solent is an internationally recognised economic, recreational and environmental asset. It therefore needs to be managed so that these assets are maintained in a sustainable way. We can only be confident that the policies for the Solent are being achieved if we understand the past and future changes to the system. In order to achieve this, the project has devised a series of key indicators for the social, economic and environmental health of the Solent. These are monitored and reported on through the regular publication of the State of the Solent report.
A metadatabase (DISC) has been established at the Solent Forum to help signpost people to local research and reports. It includes metadata on all research and monitoring projects which have been carried out in the Solent. It is hoped that its completion will provide a tool to identify sources of data and in so doing forge stronger ties with academic and industry institutions as well as encourage public/private partnerships. The database has more than 1000 records and is being added to constantly.
SOLENT EUROPEAN MARINE SITES (SEMS) SECRETARIAT
The SEMS Management Scheme was published in 2004. The secretariat function has been contracted to the Solent Forum to ensure the co-ordination of future Management Group meetings and to act as a contact point for SEMS issues.
The Solent Forum’s rationale is to encourage and promote Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Solent area. Information is crucial to sustainable decision making, conferences and associated events help to raise awareness of particular coastal management issues and pertinent research. We have held two large scale coastal management conferences (1998 and 2004) and regularly hold “hot topic” Strategic Opportunities Workshops to further strategic coastal management.