European Action Plan on Capacity Building for ICZM in Europe

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The European Action Plan (EAP) on Capacity Building for Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe aims to enhance both 'human' and 'institutional' capacity building efforts across Europe, in support of current or future implementation of ICZM initiatives. One of the expected benefits resulting from the implementation of the EAP is, among others, being able to look beyond the short to medium term and develop an influential vision for a wiser use of Europe’s existing 'human' and 'institutional' resources. This will lead to a more efficient generation of new cadres of personnel as well as institutional means for ICZM.

Due to the physical, socio-economic, institutional and environmental diversity of European coastal areas, this EAP provides a generic framework for capacity building, which should later be turned into more specific action plans tailored to the particular conditions, needs and expectations at different administrative and management levels.

Therefore, the EAP has been designed to be an advisory, indicative document, providing guidance and recommendations on the development and implementation of specific EAPs on Capacity Building for ICZM across Europe.


The EAP is divided into 6 main sections:

1. Introduction

Section 1, Introduction, aims to provide the reader a summary of the why of having, at this time, a EAP on capacity building in Europe (Rationale); what should be expected of the EAP (Aims and Objectives); to whom it is directed (Target Population) and finally, the overall Scope of the EAP.

2. Background

Section 2 provides a common Background to the overall body of the EAP. Its objective is to define the rules of the game, sort to say, and a common understanding of the underlying concepts, experiences and current implementation requirements, all of which have been taken into consideration in the drafting of the EAP. In this section, the reader will find a definition of Capacity Building (CB) within the framework of ICZM as well as a brief recollection of past and current capacity building efforts worldwide. This will provide a solid foundation to build upon, while at the same time providing a unique identity to the forthcoming efforts in Europe. Finally, and taking into consideration the diversity of contexts and issues existing in Europe, Section 2 includes a discussion on potential levels of implementation of the EAP.

3. Major drivers of the EAP

Section 3 discusses the Major drivers of the EAP, and how they impinge on the design, and implementation of specific capacity building interventions. The main drivers, namely, EU coastal and marine related policies and national ICZM strategies and existing administrative arrangements, all act as powerful underlying forces in a scenario within which CB decisions are made. These decisions, in turn, should be context specific and respond to priority issues that might be tackled through the development of the appropriate human and institutional capacities. At this point, Section 3 points out that a rule of thumb in CB is to perform a capacity assessment plus a needs assessment, which will offer a realistic basis to any CB intervention. This equation what I have and what I need, as simple as it sounds, is rarely used in planning and implementing CB initiatives. It is on the basis of all the elements discussed in Sections 1, 2, and 3, that the EAP has been designed.

4. Major components of the EAP

The Major components of the EAP are described in Section 4, namely: Human Capacity Building (HCB) and Institutional Capacity Building (ICB). Special attention is given to the establishment of a network of National Capacity Building Resource Centres (Capacity BRiCs) for ICZM, across Europe. Capacity BRiCs are the linkage and focal point encompassing both building blocks - HCB and ICB. Capacity BRiCs would act as focal points for training/education, professional development, awareness raising, institutional support, research and information on matters related to CB in ICZM. In a way, they may be considered key vehicles for implementation of the EAPs. Other supplementary vehicles are the supporting elements, namely, transfer of knowledge, sharing of experience & know-how, as well as information dissemination.

5. Implementation of specific EAPs

Section 5 discusses the Implementation of the specific EAPs. It focuses on three major tasks for which specific guidelines are provided, namely: 1. Consultations at the national/sub-national/trans-national levels; 2. Design and development of specific PoAs; and 3. Monitoring and evaluation.

6. List of recommendations

Finally, a List of recommendations is offered in Section 6. These recommendations are directed towards the European Union and its Member States, as well as to the forthcoming Capacity BRiCs, which have been identified as one of the major implementation mechanisms for the advancement of ICZM capacity development across Europe.

List of contributors to the EAP

Table 1 List of members of the IH Cantabria Team working on the EAP
Name Institution
Iñigo J. Losada ENCORA Theme 10 Coordinator
Stella M. Vallejo Consultant (UN retired)
Maica Garriga ENCORA Theme 10 Officer
Carolina Echávarri ENCORA Theme 10 Officer

Table 2 List of key experts involved in the consultation and reviewing of the EAP
Name Institution, Country
Ballinger, Rhoda Cardiff University, UK
Denis, Jacques IFREMER, France
Dorogan, Dimitru Ministry of Environment and Water Management, Romania
García, Eduardo Consultant IH Cantabria, Spain
Green, David Aberdeen University, UK
Herrera, María D. CRC, USA
Ladkowska, Hanna University of Gdansk/SPICOSA, Poland
Medina, Raúl IH Cantabria, Spain
Morris, Stephen Pembrokeshire College, UK
Olsen, Stephen CRC, USA
O’Mahony, Cathal CMRC, University College Cork/COREPOINT, Ireland
Reis, Jeannette Cardiff University/SPICOSA, UK
Trumbic, Ivica UNEP PAP/RAC
Wennersten, Ronald The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden