Opinions on INMP held by government officials and other stakeholders in Saudi Arabia
Introduction Chapter 2 outlined the evolution of INMP, showing how an increasing number of national and international initiatives were urging its adoption. Chapter 3 explained the deficiencies of the current sectoral system of maritime policy decision-making in Saudi Arabia and the advisability of replacing it with an INMP. However, an INMP will not be successful unless government officials who are charged with the task of implementing it, and other stakeholders who will be affected by it, are in favour of it or can be persuaded to adopt it. Extensive fieldwork was carried out in Saudi Arabia by co-author Hatim Al-Bisher in 2008 to investigate the opinions on INMP held by government officials and other stakeholders, and the results of that investigation are presented in this chapter. The fieldwork concentrated on the opinions of government officials and other stakeholders on four key gaps in Saudi maritime policy: the lack of a strategic plan for reconciling the many different and conflicting maritime activities; the absence of firm management over the users of the sea; inadequate maritime skills; and the failure to integrate marine information systems and databases. These four issues were discussed at length in interviews with 36 maritime decision-makers from the various ministries, departments and agencies responsible for the sustainable management of national marine resources in Saudi Arabia; these issues were also included in a questionnaire survey which was administered to 230 other stakeholders. The 36 interviews and 230 questionnaire surveys were conducted by Hatim Al-Bisher in Saudi Arabia in June-September 2008. The interviews used the following ten questions as a reference point for each interview:
• How do you evaluate the role of your ministry/government organization in achieving sustainable maritime development?