Setting the Direction in ICZM

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Setting the Direction, or preparing the Vision, will define the desired or intended future state of the coastal area in terms of its fundamental strategic direction. The vision describes in simple terms the condition of the coastal area in the future, in a time-span of 10 to 30 years and even beyond, if the strategy, plan or programme is implemented successfully. Ideally the vision should be:

  • Clear and compelling;
  • Aligned with the partners’ and the community’s aspirations and existing policies;
  • Ambitious and memorable;
  • A vivid picture of a desired future.

The Vision and the objectives are derived from the agreed priorities. PAP/RAC has defined a "model" vision for the Mediterranean coast, which encompasses 6 principles of sustainable development. It envisions coast that is:

Resilient - resilient to future uncertainties of climate change, including rising sea levels, warming and drought; resilient to climate variability such as extreme storms, floods, waves, etc; resilient to earthquakes and erosion; resilient to negative impacts of human processes, including the pressure of tourism and urban development on the coast.

Productive - productive financially in traditional, modern and future economic sectors; supporting the economic aspirations of the coastal community; providing a competitive asset to the local economy, high in natural and economic values - increasing GDP and alleviating poverty.

Diverse - ecologically diverse: a rich mosaic of marine and terrestrial ecosystems; diverse rural and urban landscapes, old and new; a diverse economy - providing a diverse, but distinctly Mediterranean experience; a diverse society – providing conditions for a rich mixture of social groups, open to the outside world, etc.

Distinctive - retaining the cultural distinctiveness of coastal areas, including their architecture, customs and landscapes, recognising the Mediterranean as the “cradle of civilisation” - providing a distinctive marketing image on which to attract investment.

Attractive - retaining the attractiveness of the coast, not only to visitors but also to investors and local people to promote a self-sustaining cycle of sustainable growth.

Healthy - free from pollution from land and marine-based sources, with clean fresh and marine waters and the air - providing a healthy environment for people, natural resources such as fisheries, and wildlife.

Objectives of the Vision will describe how the implementation of the Vision can be measured and achieved, and will reflect the governance, environmental and socio-economic priorities. Objectives describe, in measurable terms, the desired end state and are the measure of the ICZM Process performance.

The objectives should be measurable, attainable, realistic and time-targeted. Beyond this simple description, however, the objectives can become more complex, distinguishing between: High Level Objectives (or Goals) and clusters of Sub-Objectives.

Many objectives will be predetermined in the existing international, national and sub-national policies. Examples include, above all, the Barcelona Convention, but also the instruments such as Horizon 2020, the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Maritime Policy and other. In many cases these adequate benchmarks will be provided, but they should be reviewed to identify the potential to exceed them as a minimum aspiration.

See Also


This article has been drafted by PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

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