Past initiatives to define capacity building needs in ICZM

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This article discusses the need for capacity building in developed nations and discusses different approaches.

Capacity building in developed nations

One generally thinks of capacity building in the developing nation context. However, ICZM is a novel paradigm for developed and developing nations alike, and capacity building should also be applied to developed nations as well (Cicin-Sain et al. 2000) [1].

The difference is that in developed countries one is building on a base of sectoral and discipline-based expertise, which is often absent in developing nations. Moreover, instilling the new concepts of multidisciplinary thinking through training and education is not necessarily easier in the developed country context.

According to Cicin-Sain et al. (2000), "Resource management programmes in more developed nations have generally been in place longer than in their less-developed counterparts which usually means that some rigidity has set in and that “turf” (mission) is carefully guarded, making effective inter-agency cooperation more difficult. Therefore, one might expect to see a different emphasis in the capacity building efforts depending on the maturity of the institutions involved"

A few past initiatives to define capacity building needs

There have been several efforts in the past several years to estimate the demand for coastal professionals, to assess needs for ICZM training and education, to develop models of ICZM training and education, and to develop strategies for carrying out ICZM capacity building at global, regional, national and subnational scales. Some of the most important efforts are the following:

Sardinia, 1993: meeting organized by UNDP and UNDOALOS


An Action Plan for Human Resources Development and Capacity Building for the Planning and Management of Coastal and Marine, 1993-1997, which included activities in 4 areas:

  • Capacity building
  • Institution building
  • Training programmes
  • Implementation mechanisms

Coastal Zone Canada'94


  • Identify knowledge and skills requirements
  • Discuss the components of a core curriculum for training sessions and university degree programmes
  • Discuss standards and criteria that must be met to make ICZM a consistent and internationally recognized discipline
  • Estimate time-scales and costs associated with establishing required programmes

Rhode Island, 1995 [2].


Academics and experienced coastal management professionals were asked to:

  • Define the needs of the profession
  • Review existing education and training programmes
  • Suggest ways in which universities meet the growing demand for coastal management professional

International Conference on Education and Training for ICZM: The Mediterranean Prospect, Genoa, 1998 [3].

This Conference was conceived as a useful contribution to celebrate the 1998 United Nations International Year of the Oceans. The subject was considered so important as to mobilise the cooperation of three UN organisations, namely, the MAP Co-ordinating Unit of UNEP; the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and the International Centre for Science and High Technology of UNIDO, and that of the International Centre for Coastal and Ocean Policy Study, an NGO Observer to the Barcelona Convention and accredited to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.


  • Serve as a consultative ground
  • Monitor, present and discuss capacity building experiences in the Mediterranean
  • Discuss harmonization and interaction issues among programmes
  • Discuss design of new types of programmes to tailor them to the complexity of the Mediterranean context
  • Focus on holistic and integration-referred approaches to education and training
  • Design patterns to optimise the capacity (in particular, of human resources) to build education and training programmes
  • Discuss optimization of cooperation between inter-governmental organizations (i.e. UN System and EU)
  • Extrapolate the Mediterranean experience to other regional seas


  1. Cicin-Sain, B., Knecht, R.W., Vallega, A., Harakunarak, A., 2000, Education and Training for Integrated Coastal Area Management: Lessons from the International Arena. Ocean & Coastal Management, 43 (2000) 291-330. Elsevier Science Ltd.
  2. Crawford, B., Cobb, J.S., Ming, C.L., editors. Educating Coastal Managers: Proceedings of the Rhode Island Workshop, W. Alton Jones Campus, University of Rhode Island, March 4-10, 1995.
  3. Belfiore, S., editors. International Conference on Education and Training in Integrated Coastal Area Management: The Mediterranean Prospect. Genoa, Italy, May, 25-29, 1998. Ocean change publications, FrancoAngeli, 1129,4.

Related articles

Assessment of training needs
Methodologies for assessing the capacity needs in ICZM

The main author of this article is Garriga, Maica
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Garriga, Maica (2020): Past initiatives to define capacity building needs in ICZM. Available from [accessed on 24-07-2024]