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Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

Theme coordinator:
Alan Pickaver (EUCC, Leiden, NL)

The EUCC Marine Team aims to identify cases that show good ICZM practice as well as the benefits of ICZM around the EU.

ICZM is at a bit of a cross-roads at the moment. Although the EU Recommendation is still on the Statute books, it now has no inherent timetable and risks not being fully implemented as Member States turn their attention to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The completion of the Rupprecht report which signaled the end of the content of the Recommendation in 2006 has, however, been followed up by two exciting initiatives.

The first of these is a discussion group which has been set up within the forum of the EU ICZM Group of Experts, of which EUCC is an observer. This group are discussing all the political options that are open in order to come to some consensus about what, if anything, should succeed the 2002 Recommendation.

Another, is the ambitious project that has just started called OURCOAST in which EUCC collaborates with Arcadis (NL). It is a three-year project commissioned by the European Commission (DG ENV) to support and ensure the exchange of experiences and best practices in coastal management. This initiative was made possible thanks to the European Parliament that voted a dedicated resource for this purpose into the EU budget in 2008.

The overall goal of OURCOAST is to create an information base and groundwork that will further support implementation of ICZM in coastal areas. The establishment of long-lasting information mechanisms will promote the sharing of experiences and practices throughout Europe. OURCOAST aims to establish a multi-lingual database of Europe-wide ICZM practices in the form of case studies, which can be reached with the help of a user-friendly search mechanism. This database will be freely accessible to the broad coastal and marine communities, through the EUROPA (DG Environment) official website.

It is the task of EUCC to produce 350, two-page summaries of case studies that show good ICZM practice around the EU. These studies should show different aspects of ICZM, that an integrated approach to the management of coastal issues is achievable and that it has added value compared to a purely sectoral approach. The case studies will show Member States that there is a continuing need (and provable benefit) to apply ICZM in their coastal management strategies. And further that an integrated approach is provable beneficial in many cases over a sectoral approach.

Each case will be grouped under one of the defined Themes (see below), an example of Good Experience which may be applicable (by direct transfer or adaptation) either to another country or another ICZM issue viz.

Adaptation to risk (3 Themes):

  1. Managing impacts of climate change and safeguarding resilience of coasts/coastal systems;
  2. Preparing for, preventing and managing natural hazards and technological (human-made) hazards;
  3. Integrating coherent strategies covering the risk-dimension (prevention to response) into planning and investment.
Sustainable use of resources (2 Themes):
  1. Preserving the coastal and marine environment (its functioning and integrity) to share space;
  2. Sharing sound use of resources and promoting their low(est) processes/products.
Sustainable economic growth (3 Themes):
  1. Developing the coastal zone of Europe's regional seas sustainably;
  2. Balancing economic, social, and cultural development whilst enhancing environment and managing impacts from coastal activities;
  3. Improving competitiveness.

In order for a meaningful analysis to be conducted and appropriate lessons teased out, a number of Key Approaches will be examined within the selected eight Themes as follows:

  1. Integration;
  2. Participation;
  3. Knowledge-based;
  4. Eco-systems based;
  5. Socio-economic; and
  6. Technical.

If members of the Marine Team have viewpoints on either of the two initiatives mentioned and particularly if they feel they know of cases studies that should be summarized, they are encouraged to directly contact Alan Pickaver in EUCC for more information.