Integrating Climate Change into the ICZM planning process - Setting the Vision

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Analysis and Futures  

Setting the Vision  

Designing the Future  

Realising the Vision  


CC ICZM Process/EstablishmentCC ICZM Process/Analysis and FutureCC ICZM Process/Setting the visionCC ICZM Process/Designing the FutureCC ICZM Process/Realizing the VisionICZM pegaso 3 4.png
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The aim of this stage is to engage the stakeholders in setting the priorities and agreeing on the key policies and measures that should be considered in the analysis stage.

Building consensus

The point of departure for this stage is the scoping report, which was prepared at the establishment stage and which identified the drivers and pressures and risks associated with the different areas of concern. This report is discussed with stakeholders and amended in the light of their reactions. In addition the stakeholder consultations are used to determine the priorities. In the area of climate change priorities will have to drawn from a range of possible actions. These can be classified as follows:

Low regret or No-regrets measures

These are measures that can be introduced now to adapt to climate change, incurring no or little cost and generating a range of benefits. Examples include improvement in efficiency of water use, development of early warning systems that inform affected parties of extreme weather events, improved monitoring of climate data to better predict impacts under higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns. Also included in this category are measures to address the “adaptation deficit”[1]. An adaptation deficit arises when the current infrastructure is inadequate to cope with the present climatic variations (e.g. present flood defences are inadequate to cope with present flooding). Action to correct this situation can possibly be justified even without reference to future climate change (although it may still not be the top priority).

Action Vs Postponement

The literature on adaptation notes the benefits in some cases of postponing decisions on, for example, the height of a sea defence, until more information is available on the likely risks. This can be done through an analytical method known as Real Options Analysis [2].

Hard vs Soft Options

Too often adaptation to climate change is thought of in terms of engineering solutions. Yet these may not be the most effective and certainly not the least costly. Examples are restoration of wetlands which can be less costly and as effective in protecting some coastal areas and sea walls; or demand management measures for water which can be less costly then building additional reservoirs. These soft measures are often ignored because they involve policy changes requiring administrative coordination across different departments.

Long term vs Short term

Many climate impacts are relatively long term, involving actions now to protect coastal areas and their inhabitants ten or more years down the line. These impacts, however, can be exacerbated by short to medium term measures introduced for other reasons (e.g. economic expansion and growth). For example, allowing settlement in an area that may be more prone to flooding may yield benefits now but will impose heavy costs later.

The different options should be laid out for each of the areas where some action is required and the pros and cons of each discussed with stakeholders. The aim at this stage is not to make a final selection but to indicate broad priorities from which sets of options can be drawn and evaluated in Stage 4. Designing the future.

The national ICZM strategy should describe how the key problems will be analysed and how priorities will be set. For climate change it should note some of the choices that are open to the policy makers (as outlined above). It will be at the stage of preparing the national and local plans that the options will be elaborated further and priorities among them determined.

IMF document on "consensus building"

Setting the direction

The vision statement, which is the aim of this sub-section, is a general statement that defines the broad priorities. As the Main Guideline report notes, the objectives that arise from the vision statement can be complex, consisting of High Level Objectives (or Goals) and clusters of sub-Objectives. Additionally some objectives will be predetermined in existing international, national and sub-national policies, such as ‘Horizon 20-20’, the Water Framework Directive and other water quality standards.

On the climate front a clear statement is needed of the importance given to adaptation to climate change as a high level objective. This can be followed by a list of the areas where action is seen as required, and the cross sectoral priorities (e.g. adaptation to climate versus short term development imperatives).

The vision statement has to be made at the strategy stage and carried over to the Plans (both national and local).

IMF document on "Setting the Direction"

Measuring success

The IMF document sets out a fairly detailed description of the indicators that will track whether the Plan’s interventions are achieving their intended objectives. Consequently they need to be aligned with these objectives and, more precisely, they have to be linked to the output or outcome being measured.

The structure that is offered in these Guidelines proposes three kinds of indicators: Sustainability Indicators that seek to show how the Plan’s purpose is realised; Impact Indicators that seek to measure how well the Plan’s outputs are being achieved; and Performance Indicators that measure how well the project activities are being implemented.

In addition a distinction is made between Headline Indicators that provide information to the general public and specific indicators that are designed to assist in the technical monitoring of the Plan. An indicator matrix is offered, which provides a link between the broad objectives (see Section 2.1) and possible indicators that inform us of progress regarding these objectives.

From the climate change perspective the broad objectives of relevance are likely to be sustainable development of the region; protection of human life and natural and physical capital in the face of climate change. Each of these is likely to be affected by climate change. The problem with developing indicators in this context is that the relevant threat from climate change is in the future and an assessment has to be made of the magnitude, given plans for development etc. Hence the relevant climate indicators will need considerable analytical to be estimated. This can be done and will require regular monitoring over the life of the ICZM, but it is worth the effort as it keeps this dimension of the problem in the public’s mind.

IMF document on " Measuring Success and ICZM Indicators"

See Also

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

  1. For further discussion on the adaptation deficit see Parry, M. Et al. (2009) “Assessing the Costs of Adaptation to Climate Change: A Review of the UNFCCC and Other Recent Estimates”, International Institute for Environment and Development and Grantham Institute for Climate Change, London.
  2. For an example of Real Options analysis see the assessment for the Thames defences, summarised in Ranger, N., Millner, A., Dietz, S., Fankhauser, S., Lopez, A. and Ruta, G. (2010) Adaptation in the UK: A Decision-Making Process, Policy Brief September 2010, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment & Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.