Talk:Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

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Review by Job Dronkers (January 2013)

I have moved another article on Integrated Coastal Zone Management to this discussion page and added some relevant information:


Integrated Coastal Zone Management is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and interactive strategy that promotes sustainable management within coastal zone including waters and lands. It connects all participants that are involved in the development, management and use of coast in a framework that provides them integration of their interests and responsibilities. The balance between cultural, economic, environmental, recreational and social aspirations is the main aim.

The impact of fishing, aquaculture, pollution, rapid human population growth, poor employment opportunities in coastal communities together with other environmental concerns were the main reasons that contributed to the development of ICZM.

Demonstration Programme

A European Union ICZM Demonstration Programme consolidated 35 projects within socio-economic, cultural, administrative and physical conditions areas through the European countries between 1996 and 1999[1]. Conclusions drawn from this project were as follows:

  • ICZM should be innately inter- and multidisciplinary and should encourage to integration of terrestrial and marine components
  • ICZM should emphasize the need for integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration
  • ICZM should take into account all informed participation and cooperation of all concerned parties to assess the public objectives.

In the final report of the Demonstration Programme Demonstration Programme (1999) [2], ICZM is described as follows:

"ICZM is a dynamic, continuous and iterative process designed to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance the benefits from economic development and human uses of the Coastal Zone, the benefits from protecting, preserving, and restoring Coastal Zones, the benefits from minimizing loss of human life and property, and the benefits from public access to and enjoyment of the Coastal Zone, all within the limits set by natural dynamics and carrying capacity. The “Integrated” in ICZM refers both to the integration of objectives and to the integration of the multiple instruments needed to meet these objectives. It means integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It means integration of the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory. ICZM is integrated in both time and space, and is inherently multi-disciplinary. ICZM should certainly not be just pigeon-holed under “environment”. Although ICZM refers to “management”, in fact, the ICZM process covers the full cycle of information collection, planning, decision making, management and monitoring of implementation. “Planning” is thus intended in its broadest sense, to mean strategic policy development, rather than only land use planning or other sectoral planning. ICZM uses the informed participation and cooperation of all interested and affected parties to assess the societal objectives in a given coastal area at a given time, and to initiate the actions necessary to move towards meeting these objectives."

The EU Recommendation on ICZM

In 2002, The European Commission published a Recommendation for the implementation of ICZM by the EU member states [3]. The eight key ICZM principles of the Recommendation are:

  • A broad overall perspective (thematic and geographic) which will take into account the interdependence and disparity of natural systems and human activities with an impact on coastal areas.
  • A long-term perspective which will take into account the precautionary principle and the needs of present and future generations.
  • Adaptive management during a gradual process which will facilitate adjustment as problems and knowledge develop. This implies the need for a sound scientific basis concerning the evolution of the coastal zone.
  • Local specificity and the great diversity of European coastal zones, which will make it possible to respond to their practical needs with specific solutions and flexible measures.
  • Working with natural processes and respecting the carrying capacity of ecosystems, which will make human activities more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically sound in the long run.
  • Involving all the parties concerned (economic and social partners, the organisations representing coastal zone residents, non-governmental organisations and the business sector) in the management process, for example by means of agreements and based on shared responsibility.
  • Support and involvement of relevant administrative bodies at national, regional and local level between which appropriate links should be established or maintained with the aim of improved coordination of the various existing policies. Partnership with and between regional and local authorities should apply when appropriate.
  • Use of a combination of instruments designed to facilitate coherence between sectoral policy objectives and coherence between planning and management.

  1. European Commission 2000. Communication from the Commission the Council and the European Parliament on Integrated Coastal Zone Management: a strategy for Europe. COM (2000) 547 final. European Commission, Brussels.
  2. Towards a European Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Strategy: General Principles and Policy Options. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1999.
  3. European Commission 2002. Recommendation of The European Parliament and of the Council 2002/413/EC of 30 May 2002. concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe. Official Journal (L148/24 of 6 June 2002)