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Thematic Areas - Coastal Zone Management
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Coastal Zone – A definition
The Coastal Zone can physically and geographically be defined as a corridor where the land and adjacent ocean space meet. Functionally it is the broad interface between land and water where production, consumption, recreation and exchange processes occur at high rates of intensity. Ecologically, the coastal zone is an area of dynamic biological, hydraulic, geological and chemical activities often with considerable but always limited capacity for supporting various forms of human use. It is frequently a dynamic and vulnerable area which both nature and man have and will muscle in both constructive and destructive ways.
CZM definition:           

A continuous and dynamic process by which decisions are made for the sustainable use, development and protection of coastal and marine areas and resources. ICM acknowledges the interrelationships that exist among coastal and ocean uses and the environments they potentially affect (http://www.egreenideas.com/glossary.php?group=i).

ICZM is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. It covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation. ICZM uses the informed participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take actions towards meeting these objectives. ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, all within the limits set by natural dynamics. 'Integrated' in ICZM refers to the integration of objectives and also to the integration of the many 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, in both time and space.

Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.
This concept was born in 1992 during the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro. The policy regarding ICZM is set out in the proceedings of the summit within Agenda 21, Chapter 17. The European Commission defines the ICZM as follows:

Principles of ICZM (from TVLink Europe)

The principles at the heart of ICZM are simple and straightforward.

First of all, coastal zones are influenced by a range of piecemeal but interconnected policies. The ICZM strategy provides for a holistic approach which will study the cause and effect of each of these. The aim is to ensure that the environmental, social and economic impact on the coastal zone of each policy is closely looked into. To be successful, a coastal zone management strategy must be forward looking and anticipate potential problems. It is not a one-time fix approach and will naturally evolve over time as the need arises. The ICZM process brings together all interested parties of a coastal area into designing a strategy for their region. Harnessing the involvement and the knowledge of local actors is vital in identifying and resolving the real issues faced by the coastal region. It promotes a sense of shared responsibility and reduces potential conflicts when implementing this strategy.
A multi-tiered strategy
ICZM is not a policy but a strategy. It is a strategy that must involve all segments of society, all economic sectors, and all administrative levels. The role of local administrations is best adapted to provide information on local conditions and involve local interested parties. Regional administrations can co-ordinate and provide a broader and long-term outlook on initiatives at local level while national administrations must provide the legal framework and support which will lead to coherent ICZM strategies.
Coastal Zone Management: International Regimes

Today, more than half or the global population or in absolute figures well above 2½ billion people, and many of the world's major cities are located in coastal areas. Although estimates vary considerably, UNCED's Agenda 21 suggests that up to three-quarters of the global population could be living within 60 km from the coast by 2020. Increasing population density, industrial development, and economic growth have given rise to a variety of additional economic activities, the combined effects of which increase the pressure on coastal areas and their resources. This frequently results in cumulative and complex impacts on the environment, depletion of resources and intensified conflict between competing user groups (http://www.iczm.sabah.gov.my/Reports/Introductory%20note/mst-ICZM.html).
Within the past 30 years there has been a growing recognition of the need for coastal zone management at national as well as international levels and the development of coastal management programs and plans are on the increase world-wide.
The earliest significant efforts in the 1970s were given in Europe and USA out of concern over the quality of coastal and marine environments prompting amongst others the US Coastal Zone Management Act in 1972.
The 1980s saw a number of CZM programs take off in developing countries some associated with technical assistance from  
  • UNEP´s Mediterranean Action Plan
  • USAID/URI programmes in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Ecuador and USAID/ICLARM programme in the ASEAN Countries including the development of the Johor Bahru CZM Plan) and
  • some evolving independently (Brazil, Costa Rica, China, Argentina, Colombia and others).
In the 1990s the progress continues and today CZM Programs offer a wide range of examples in terms of policy goals, approaches and techniques. Especially within the past decade an increasing number of fora have been focusing on CZM issues.
Important international events include UNCED (1992), and World Coast Conference (1993). The World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) all recognize the special importance of coastal areas and resources by dedicating efforts towards developing guidelines for coastal project development (i.e. Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines for coastal and marine resources) and all are involved in coastal zone management programs).
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Organizations that have explored conceptual approaches to ICZM in addition to many others include;
    • UNEP
    • UNDP
    • FAO
    • OECD
    • EC
An increasing number of bilateral development agencies are adopting CZM strategies in project development in coastal areas are
    • SIDA
    • USAID
    • Danida
    • DANCED and others
The trend in these efforts have been towards more comprehensive and integrated coastal programmes considering the coastal zone as a distinct region with resources and activities that require special attention.
Links:   a. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/biblio.htm
Management Boundaries
Ideally management area boundaries should delimit the area which includes all relevant biophysical, economic and other social interactions. This would imply a coastal zone extending at least from the oceanward edge of the exclusive economic zone, usually 200 nautical miles, to the inland limit of climatic influence.
For most but the smallest countries however the scale puts a practical limit on the extent of a manageable area and other boundaries have to be defined as far as possible incorporating all relevant factors. Planning for such an area should take into account the biophysical, economic and social linkages with the outside. There are a number of landward and seaward boundaries which may be considered using geophysical, political, economic, ecological, institutional and organizational criteria as indicated in the figure below. The high degree of overlap between delimited areas provides no obvious choice and management programmes have adopted a wide range of definitions according to the issues triggering the management process.
Physical criteria such as a certain isobath or the edge of the continental shelf have been used as well as physical landmarks in the landward direction. Political and administrative boundaries have the advantage of being easily understood, readily representable and legislatively viable. Delineation using environmental criteria such as tidally influenced areas, may have sound ecological and scientific basis but would often prove difficult to define accurately

Property Rights and Control in the Coastal Zone
In international waters outside the EEZ control is pursued through a number of international conventions many of which may affect the jurisdiction closer to the shore or even on land.
Within the territorial sea and the EEZ, national government control is exercised. Some authority is frequently delegated to coastal sub-national governments.
For the intertidal zone , the public trust is asserted, which in turn carries predominant government control.
The shore lands , are often subject to extensive government control.
For the coastal uplands , the tradition in most nations is to exercise less control than in the more shoreward areas.
Finally, areas which have traditionally enjoyed no government control with respect to coastal resources are usually located inland of the coastal watershed boundary or beyond the most ocean-ward jurisdictional claim.
Almost all developing nations apply several of the management strategies identified below.
National economic planning Broad-scope sectoral planning of coastal uses or resources
Regional seas Nation -or state-wide land use planning and regulation
Special area plans or regional plans Critical area protection
Environmental impact assessment of coastal development proposals Mandatory policies and advisory guidelines
Acquisition programmes Shore lands exclusion or restrictions
Coastal atlases and data banks International conventions

Table:   Selected examples of coastal area boundaries from coastal zone management programs
(Source: http://www.iczm.sabah.gov.my)
Country/State Landward boundary Seaward boundary Comment
New Jersey USA 30 m - 30 km depending on urban Tidal, bay and ocean state waters State Coastal Programme
Rhode Island 200 feet from shoreward boundaries of coastal features + specified actions likely to damage coastal environments Territorial sea (3 mile) excluding fishery State Coastal Programme
Hawai All land except state forest reserves State waters State Coastal Programme
Brunei All land and water areas 1 km inland from MHWM and areas inundated by tides any time of the year From MHWM to 200 m isobath ASEAN/US CRMP
Indonesia Administrative and selected environmental units 60 m isobath ASEAN/US CRMP
Malaysia District boundaries Up to 20 km off shore to include islets off Mersing ASEAN/US CRMP
Philippines Boundaries of coastal municipalities + inland municipalities with brackishwater aquaculture 100 fathom isobath ASEAN/US CRMP
Philippines Inner regions on marine dependant systems or 1 km whichever is the greatest Outer reaches of fisheries resource systems which are associated with or influenced by the coast ADB
Singapore Entire island Territorial waters and offshore islands ASEAN/US CRMP
Thailand District boundaries Shallow continental shelf ASEAN/US CRMP
Costa Rica 200 m from MHWM n/a National Coastal Programme
Law of the Marine and Terrestrial Zone 6043
Sri Lanka 300 m from MHWM 2 km from MLWM URI CRMP. Coast Conservation Act 1981.
Ecuador Variable line depending of issues in five special management areas. n/a URI CRMP
Links:   http://www.iczm.sabah.gov.my/Reports/Introductory%20note/mst-ICZM.html#fn6
Legal provisions for integrated coastal zone management
(Source: http://www.ciesin.org/TG/PI/TREATY/unced.html)  
    • CZM – CZM Act, USA, 1972
    • 1980s – Term Integrated added
    • 1992 – ICZM as principal recommendation of Agenda 21, UNCED
    • ICM – limitations of the term zone. Need for a more holistic approach
Development_(UNCED), _Rio_de_Janeiro,_Brazil
Current Status of ICZM
Dealing with the Issues:      
A common framework for NEW INTERREG Programme area International Framework    
e.g. WSSD, 2002; UN & FAO Voluntary Code of Conduct for Sustainable Fishing, 1995; UNCED, 1992; UN Framework on Climate Change, 1992; UNCLOS, 1982; Bonn Convention, 1979; Bern Convention, 1979; MARPOL, 1978; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, 1971 Regional Framework         
e.g. OSPAR Convention, 1992 – NE Atlantic       European Framework:
e.g. Structural Funds, CAP, CFP, EAPs, ESDP, TEN-T, EU Strategy for ICM. Legislation: Horizontal – EIA Directive; SEA Directive (to be transposed 2004). Sectoral – Bathing Water Directive, Shellfish Water Directive, Waste Water Directive, Nitrates Directive, Birds Directive, Habitats Directive, Water Framework Directive.

Approach to ICM in EU:

  • EU role supportive rather than regulatory
  • WFD as mechanism to adopt ICM
  • Sectoral nature of EU legislation
  • Outcome of Demonstration Programme contributed to ICM strategy
  • Lack of guidelines on implementation of recommendations – unbalanced national approaches
  • EU strategy to protect & conserve the marine environment will facilitate conservation of the coast
    Gaps to be addressed in a Trans-National Approach to ICM
    (Source: Coastal & Marine Resources Centre, 2003;
  • ICM needs to be embraced at a number of levels – local, regional, national, trans-national and EU level
  • At present, there is a lack of harmonisation in approach to ICM at the trans-national level, despite the shared resource that is the coastal and marine area of NW Europe
  • The need for integrated policy and planning is vital to stem the tide of habitat destruction and loss of quality of life
  • Best practice must be identified, shared and implemented
  • Establish baseline data
  • Provide fiscal support
  • Develop indicators for ICM
  • Implement the precautionary principle
  • Provide a focal point for ICM
  • Establish national coastal fora for ICM
  • Integrate planning for the coast
  • Utilize available technology
Legislations on Environment, Forests, and Wildlife [Updated on 23/02/2009]
(Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India)

S. No.

Category Name

    A  Water Pollution
    B  Air Pollution

 Environment Protection

  Coastal Regulation Zone
  Delegation of Powers
  Eco-marks Scheme
  Eco-sensitive Zone
  Environmental Clearance - General
  Environmental Labs
  Hazardous Substances Management
  Loss Of Ecology
  Noise Pollution
  Ozone Layer Depletion
  Water Pollution
  2-T Oil
    D  Public Liability Insurance
    E  National Environment Appellate Authority
    F  National Environment Tribunal
    G  Animal Welfare
    H  Wildlife
     I  Forest Conservation
    J  Biodiversity
    K  IFS
      Coastal Regulation Zone
        • S.O.16(E), [4/1/2002] -                Gujarat State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.17(E), [4/1/2002] -                Daman and Diu Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.18(E), [4/1/2002] -                Maharashtra State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.19(E), [4/1/2002] -                Goa State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.20(E), [4/1/2002] -                Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.21(E), [4/1/2002] -                Karnataka State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.22(E), [4/1/2002] -                Pondicherry Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.23(E), [4/1/2002] -                Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.24(E), [4/1/2002] -                Orissa State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.25(E), [4/1/2002] -                West Bengal State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.26(E), [4/1/2002] -                Lakshadweep Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.27(E), [4/1/2002] -                Andhra Pradesh State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.28(E), [4/1/2002] -                Andaman and Nicobar Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.17(E), [8/1/2001] -                Re-constitution of the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA)
        • S.O.991(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of National Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.577(E), [13/7/1999] -     Amendments to S.O.991(E) dated 26/11/1998
        • S.O.992(E), [26/11/1998]-           Constitution of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Coastal Zone Management Authority
        • S.O.993(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Andhra Pradesh Coastal Zone Management Authority
        • S.O.994(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.996(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Pondicherry Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.997(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of West Bengal Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.998(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Damn and Diu Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.999(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.1000(E), [26/11/1998] -        Constitution of Karnataka Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.1002(E), [26/11/1998] -        Constitution of Lakshadeep Islands Coastal Zone Management Authority
        • S.O.1003(E), [26/11/1998] -        Constitution of Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.995(E), [26/11/1998] -          Constitution of Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority. 
        • 1.S.O.518(E), [30/6/1999] -     Amendments to S.O.995(E) dated 26/11/1998  
        • S.O.1004(E), [26/11/1998] -        Constitution of Orissa Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.399(E), [28/5/1999] -     Amendments to S.O.1004(E) dated 26/11/1998
        • S.O.1001(E), [26/11/1998] -        Constitution of Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority.
        • S.O.104(E), [12/2/1999] -     Amendments to S.O.1001(E) dated 26/11/1998
        • S.O.88(E), [6/02/1997] -              Constitution of Aquaculture Authority.
        • S.O.114(E), [19/2/1991] -            Declaration of Coastal Stretches as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) amended                                                         3/10/2001
          1. S.O.1761(E), [21/07/2008]-  Coastal Management Zone Notification, 2008(Draft Re-publication). 
          2. S.O.1070(E), [01/05/2008]-  Coastal Management Zone Notification, 2008(Draft).
          3. S.O.838(E), [24/7/2003]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          4. S.O.636(E), [30/5/2003]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991
          5. S.O.635(E), [30/5/2003]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          6. S.O.460(E), [22/4/2003]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          7. S.O.1100(E), [19/10/2002]-  Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          8. S.O.550(E), [21/5/2002]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          9. S.O.329(E), [12/4/2001]-      Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
          10. S.O.1122(E), [29/12/1998]- Amendments to S.O.114(E) dated 19/2/1991.
Links:   Draft Coastal Management Zone Notification
Coastal Zone Management in Developed Countries
  1. United States of America
The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), provides national leadership, strategic direction and guidance to state and territory coastal programs and estuarine research reserves in the USA. Links:
2.United Kingdom
UK approach to management of coastal areas

The arrangements for managing coastal areas in England are complex. On land there are well established planning mechanisms, managed largely by Local Authorities. Management of the marine area meanwhile falls mainly to central Government, and activities at sea have traditionally been managed following a more sectoral approach.
Following the UK Stocktake, the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations have been preparing separate draft national strategies on either ICZM or more generally on marine and coastal management.
A consultation (http://www.defra.gov.uk/marine/pdf/environment/iczm/iczm-consultation.pdf) seeking views on how we can best promote and implement an integrated approach to the management of the coastal zone (ICZM) in England, was published in 2006. The responses to this consultation (http://www.defra.gov.uk/marine/pdf/environment/iczm/iczm-responses-summary.pdf) have helped us to finalise the ICZM Strategy for England, and have also fed into the development of proposals with in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill. 
‘A strategy for promoting an integrated approach to the management of coastal areas in England’ -  sets out the Government’s vision for coastal management, objectives and future actions to achieve the vision, and briefly explains how all the changes currently being taken forward will work together in coastal areas.
  • England – A strategy for promoting an integrated approach to the management of coastal areas in England [http://www.defra.gov.uk/marine/pdf/environment/iczm/iczm-strategy-england.pdf]  
  • Wales - Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy
  • Scotland – Marine and Coastal Strategy [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/08/26102543/25444]
  • Northern Ireland - An Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy 2006 - 2026 (http://www.doeni.gov.uk/index/protect_the_environment/natural_environment_/


Bordered by oceans on three sides (Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific), Canada is a country with virtually unparalleled marine and coastal resources. Canada has the world's longest coastline and the second largest continental shelf. Stretched-out as a single continuous line, Canada's coastline would encircle the Earth more than six times. Forming a portion of this coastline are Canada's Arctic islands, the largest archipelago in the world.  Eight of Canada's ten provinces and all of its northern territories are coastal, as are many of its major cities. Approximately 23% of Canadians live in coastal communities.
Canada's coastal endowment has enormous potential to benefit both present and future generations. Coastal areas are crucial for transportation, fishing and aquaculture, recreation and tourism, and subsistence. In economic terms, substantial wealth is generated from Canadian marine resources. For residents of the coastal zone, however, its value in social, cultural, and spiritual terms far exceeds its economic worth. Today many of Canada's coastal riches are threatened. Pressures include increasing and competing demands for the resources themselves as well as from unrelated human developments, not only along and adjacent to the coast, on land and in the water, but even from global changes brought about by human activity many thousands of kilometers away (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca).
As the federal lead agency for oceans, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recognises the interests and roles of other federal departments, provinces and territories in the coastal zone. Under the authority of the Oceans Act, DFO is required to:
  • co-operate, prepare and disseminate, with stakeholders, educational materials and information to advance the understanding of coastal processes and ICZM;
  • co-ordinate the planning and management of its coastal regulatory activities with those of other regulatory authorities;
  • draw other stakeholders into the process to integrate the planning and management of their activities;
  • provide specialized information, scientific and technical advice and research on the coastal marine environment and its living resources required to develop integrated management plans; and
  • enforce environmental provisions under DFO author
Canada's Oceans Act and Integrated Management

Canada's Oceans Act calls on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to address the numerous and compelling problems and economic development opportunities facing Canada's coasts through the development of an Oceans Strategy. The Act further provides for the development and implementation, with stakeholders, of plans for the integrated management of activities in or affecting estuaries, coastal and marine waters.
Coastal zone management (CZM), though a relatively new concept in Canada, has become the dominant approach to coastal planning in the United States. Its saliency has much to do with the fact that it represents an acceptable blend of views of environmentalists and public administrators, especially those concerned with land use control and natural resource management problems in coastal areas. Although not aggravated to the same degree by urban congestion, these problems in Canada are becoming sufficiently serious to require a close look at the possible benefits of czm in this country. The timeliness of this concept is underlined by the fact that Canada has just entered the 'economic zone' phase of ocean management with the extension of its limits of national jurisdiction for fishery purposes to 200 miles.


Compared with the other continents, Europe has a large continental shelf and a relatively long coastline in relation to its land area. There is a wide variety of types of coastal zone, with different natural, economic and social conditions. Europe is where human impact has been greatest, and where changes in the environment have also been monitored and studied longest. Although the ecological, economic and social importance of natural coastal resources has long been acknowledged, they continue to deteriorate (http://www.ec.europa.eu/environment/
Many of Europe's coastal zones face problems of deterioration of their environmental, socio-economic and cultural resources. Since 1996, the European Commission has been working to identify and promote measures to remedy this deterioration and to improve the overall situation in our coastal zones.From 1996 to 1999, the Commission operated a Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) designed around a series of 35 demonstration projects and 6 thematic studies. This programme was aimed to:
  • Provide technical information about sustainable coastal zone management, and
  • stimulate a broad debate among the various actors involved in the planning, management or use of European coastal zones

The programme was intended to lead to a consensus regarding the measures necessary in order to stimulate ICZM in EuropeEvaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe
(Source: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/evaluation/iczm_national_reporting_belgium.htm)


Status:  A National Report outlining the implementation of the European Recommendation concerning integrated management of coastal zones in Belgium was submitted to the European Commission on 22 March 2006. Although the direct reason for the creation of this report was to comply with the request of the European Commission to report on implementation of the Recommendation, it is also intended to be a source of inspiration for the government to optimize its integrated policy for the coast. Furthermore, it is a useful document for all actors involved who wish to acquire better insight into the efforts made so far on the coast and current lines of thinking for the future.
Reporting Institution
SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement
Directorate General for Environment
Section Marine Environment
Victor Hortaplein 40, Box 10
B-1600 Brussels


Status: Bulgaria did not report officially to the EU ICZM Recommendation. Circumstances which contributed to the lack of reporting from Bulgaria include:
1)  lack of media information and public participation in this especially important multidisciplinary area; and
2) unfinished phase of ratification of the Law for Bulgarian Black Sea Coast Constitution (National ICZM) by the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Reporting Institution
Ministry of the Environment & Water
Water Directorate, Sofia


Status: No National Report has been submitted from Croatia in response to EU ICZM Recommendation. A number of auxiliary documents were consulted for the assessment of ICZM in Croatia (see below).
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning & Construction (MEPSPC)
Environmental Protection Division
Marine & Coastal Protection Department

Status: A National Report concerning the implementation of ICZM in Cyprus (see below) was submitted to the European Commission on 7 April 2006. A National ICZM Strategy is in the process of development. Even though there is no specific ICZM legislation, Cyprus has a well-developed planning legislation through which it exercises regulatory controls and pays attention to the coastal area. Coastal resources are currently managed through parallel policies and legislation. Cyprus has initiated as common project (CAMP Cyprus) with the Priority Actions Programme, Regional Activity Centre of the Mediterranean Action Plan (Barcelona Convention), the results of which are expected to lead to the formulation of a National ICZM Strategy.

Reporting Institution
Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (MANRE)
Environment Service


Status: No comprehensive Danish ICZM National Strategy, following the EU ICZM Recommendation has yet been formulated. Some initial steps were taken until 2003, when it was decided to have a major structural reform of the Danish municipal system. A number of initiatives were developed to promote ICZM. These included surveys of coastal management practices, establishment of a network including national authorities engaged in the marine environment, enabling legislation regarding new summer cottage areas in coastal areas. The reform will be implemented in 2007. Danish participation in a number of Interreg projects concerning integrated management and spatial planning in the coastal zone at land and at sea, and implementation of ICZM elements in the Wadden Sea conservation area.
The Danish government perceives the Danish planning system in general to be adequate to manage the challenges to secure a proper balance between conservation and development of the coastal zone. Weaknesses and gaps are dealt with currently by adjusting existing laws, regulations and practices as well as implementing EU Directives and policies.
In 2003, the Danish government decided to implement a major reform of the regional and local government structure. Upon this decision, the Ministry of Environment decided that it would be more appropriate to postpone a debate on a possible national strategy on ICZM to after 2007 when the reform is implemented.
The Report submitted clearly demonstrates little progress on ICZM has been made in Denmark since 2003 and that it will take time before ICZM will come on the Danish political agenda.

Reporting Institution
Miljøministeriet/ Ministry of Environment
Landsplankontoret/Spatial Planning Department
Skov og Naturstyrelsen/ Danish Forest and Nature Agency

This is the leading organization and unit for ICZM in Denmark at the national level, responsible for integrated management and sustainable development in coastal and marine areas, including the EEZ.

Status: Estonia did not report officially to the EU ICZM Recommendation.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Environment, Strategy and Planning Department
On the national level, the Ministry of Environment is responsible for overall regulation, coordination and supervision of planning as well as for the preparation of national planning guidelines. The Environmental Management Division and Physical Planning Division, and the Environment Information Centre, within the Ministry of Environment, are responsible for coordination of ICZM data collection activities.


Status: A National Report consisting of a proposed national strategy with an assessment/stocktaking section was officially submitted to the European Commission on 17 May 2006. Finland has had a comprehensive spatial (land-use) planning system for a long time. In the submitted ICZM Strategy, this system is proposed as the main instrument for ICZM implementation.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of the Environment
Land-Use Department

In Finland, there is no single authority for coastal zone management and planning. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for national environmental policy and issues related to marine environment protection in general. The Land-Use Department is the responsible body for ICZM and sustainable development.


Status: A National Report on the Implementation of the EU ICZM Recommendation in France was officially submitted to the European Commission on 28 April 2006.
The document draws largely upon a DATAR Report, established in 2004 by the regional development team "Construire ensemble un développement équilibré du littoral” that outlined existing approaches to the future management and governance of France's coastal zones largely independent of the EU ICZM Recommendation. It has been written as an explanation of France's approaches and intentions for the management and governance of its coastal zones.
The report clearly shows that France has been considering and evolving holistic and integrative approaches to coastal management with due regard for the environmental, economic and social needs, constraints and aspirations. Although most of the actions and activities remain to be instigated, the first steps towards an ICZM approach have been taken.
Reporting Institution
Délégation interministérielle à l'aménagement et
à la compétitivité des territoires (DIACT)
Paris Cedex

The National Council for Coastal Zones has not yet been installed. ICZM is not yet explicitly sponsored by a well-identified Ministry (no Ministerial department can be considered as in charge of an integrated policy).


Status: A National Report for ICZM in Germany was submitted to the European Commission on 3 April 2006, as an assessment and steps towards a National ICZM Strategy for Germany.
The Report defines the strategy as an informal and thus voluntary approach supporting sustainable development of the coastal areas. ICZM is not regarded as a statutory instrument to formal planning and decision-making procedures. The Report states that the current legislative framework in Germany is capable of meeting most of the ICZM principles, however, further legislative adaptation and optimisation of governance instruments are encouraged by the national strategy.
Reporting Institution
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
(Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, BMU)
Robert Schumann Platz 3
Referat N 1 5, Postfach 12 06 29
53175 Bonn

Ministry of Environment (BMU) through the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) is the leading agency and formally responsible for collating the development of the German National ICZM Strategy.

According to the Constitution, both the federal government as well as the federal states have joint responsibility for most areas of coastal planning issues. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing is responsible for providing national guidelines and co-ordinating planning policy from which the individual states derives its own planning legislation. This entails that for regional planning, nature conservation and water-management, the Länder have a high degree of freedom in establishing their own legislative structure and adhering laws, albeit having to be in co-ordinance with the federal legal framework.


Status: A National Report on Coastal Zone Management in Greece was officially submitted to the European Commission on 24 May 2006.
In order to ensure co-ordination of major policy fields, four studies were launched in autumn 2005 and are expected to be approved by the end of 2006:

  • The Global Framework for the National Spatial Plan
  • The Special Framework for Spatial Planning of Industry
  • The Special Framework for Spatial Planning of Renewable Energy, and
  • The Special Framework for Spatial Planning of Tourism

The objectives and targets for ICZM are expected to be incorporated and specified in these on-going studies as appropriate. Only after approval of these new legal instruments will there be discussion on possible need for an additional individual instrument on ICZM
Reporting Institution
Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works

The Ministry of Environment Physical Planning and Public Works is responsible for the development of an integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources. It has the main responsibility for spatial planning and protection of the environment.

Besides the Ministry of Environment Physical Planning and Public Works, other authorities which influence directly or indirectly the formulation of coastal policy are the Ministries of National Economy, Defence, Interior, Finance, Health, Agriculture, Development (Industry, Tourism) and the Ministry of Merchant Marine. Responsibilities of coastal planning are spread among national, regional and local level

Ireland .

Status: Ireland did not report officially to the EU ICZM Recommendation.
A formal ICZM strategy has not been developed, however, there is current activity ongoing that is exploring mechanisms to implement the principles of ICZM in Ireland - most notably through involvement in EU research projects - COREPOINT, ENCORA and SPICOSA. The most relevant document to analyse strategic approaches to management of coastal zones is the National Spatial Strategy or Ireland 2002-2020. A draft policy document for ICZM was produced in 1997, but was never implemented, and it is unclear if this document influenced the National Spatial Strategy for Ireland.
Reporting Institution
Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources
Coastal Zone Management Division
In Ireland, there is no single body responsible for coastal management. Implementation is carried out within a range of regulatory stakeholders dealing with coastal management at government and regional levels. Responsibility for the Irish coastal zone primarily resides within three main government departments: 1) the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources, 2) the Department of the Environment and Local Government, and 3) the Department for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands


Status: Italy did not report officially to the EU ICZM Recommendation.
In Italy, ICZM as a management instrument has not been nationally practiced, as there is no national strategy. The administrative functions on the maritime state property have been integrally transferred from the State to the Regions. Therefore, Italy has a regional approach for coastal zone management and there is no single institution invested with the governance of the coastal zone. Furthermore, the regional and local approaches often appear sectoral.
Reporting Institution


Status: Latvia submitted an official Statement on the progress of implementation of the EC ICZM Recommendation to the European Commission on 2 June 2006.
Latvia's approach is that a stand-alone ICZM strategy is not needed as ICZM is a natural component of the overall spatial and development planning currently developed. In general, the initial phase of an ICZM process will be finished in Latvia, when Nation Spatial Plan and local development and territorial plans of all coastal areas will be approved (presumably by mid 2007). In maritime sectors of Latvia, an ICZM process has only just started.
Implementation of the ICZM Recommendation in Latvia is viewed in line with findings of the recent INTERREG IIIB project "Integrated Coastal Zone Development in the Baltic Sea Region / BALTCOAST" that spatial planning goes with ICZM hand-in-hand.
There is no foreseen plan to develop a national ICZM strategy nor establish a new institution for ICZM in Latvia. The main emphasis will be placed on capacity building and education of local planners towards ICZM issues. The principles of ICZM will be incorporated into the National Spatial Plan.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Regional Development & Local Governments
Spatial Planning Department


Status: A formal statement was submited by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania to the European Commission on 22 June 2006, regarding the reporting on the implementation of the ICZM Recommendation in Lithuania.
After an overview of the legislation related to the implementation of the ICZM Recommendation and coastal protection measures implemented on the Lithuanian Baltic Sea coast, the Ministry of Environment decided that, at the moment, the preparation of a National ICZM Strategy for Lithuania is not necessary.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Environment, Nature Resources Division, Nature Protection Department
(responsible for policy recommendations)

Ministry of Environment, Territorial Planning, Urban Development and Architecture Department
(responsible for the planning issue in the coastal zone)

The Nature Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the assessment of the current status and nature processes of the Lithuanian coast of the Baltic Sea and the formulation of policy recommendations in order to make the coastal protection measures more effective.


Status: Malta submitted an official Report on the Implementation of the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council Concerning the Implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe to the European Commission on 27 March 2006.
Malta's ICZM Strategy is embodied in the Coastal Strategy Topic Paper prepared by MEPA as part of the Structure Plan Review. The Strategy was formulated as part of the revision of the Replacement Structure Plan and was prepared prior to Malta's accession to EU membership and hence prior to the adoption of the EU ICZM Recommendation. Being part of the Replacement Structure Plan Review process (one of several Topic Papers), the Strategy is very well integrated with the spatial planning policy and process adopted in Malta.
This approach ensures linkages between the ICZM strategy and terrestrial and maritime spatial planning, both of which are addressed in the Topic Paper. The latter also calls for better integration and a more holistic approach in planning policies. Nonetheless, since the Strategy is essentially a spatial planning tool, it does not address (or does so only indirectly) aspects such as regional development, education, employment, and resource management.
Malta's ICZM process has commenced and is proceeding well in many respects.
Reporting Institution
Malta Environment and Planning Authority - Coastal Planning

The preparation of the Replacement Structure Plan (within which the aims and objectives of the Coastal Strategy are being incorporated) falls within the responsibility of the Planning Directorate within MEPA.

ICZM is the remit of a number of agencies, though its close linkage with spatial and regional development planning places the Malta Environment & Planning Authority in the lead role. This ensures that ICZM issues are considered in development planning mechanisms.


Status: The Netherlands submitted a progress report on the implementation of the ICZM Recommendation in the Netherlands to the European Commission on 3 March 2006, with the main purpose to show the extent to which the Dutch coastal zone is being managed in an integrated and sustainable way.
The Netherlands has decided not to develop a separate strategy for ICZM but to make use of two existing building blocks which in fact are supported by a variety of complementary statutory institutions:

  • the National Spatial Strategy, which establishes a national strategy for integrated spatial planning policies generally; and makes the coastal zone, Wadden Sea and Deltas explicitly part of the main national spatial structures; and
  • the Third Policy Document on Coastal Areas, which provides an integrated frame-work for coastal zone management and policies on coastal areas.

ICZM has been initiated - although not always explicitly mentioned as such - even before the Recommendation. The case for the Netherlands shows that a specific ICZM strategy is not necessarily needed in the country to implement ICZM principles as long as the notion of sustainable development guides the set up of governance and participation.
Reporting Institution
Since 2002 the national level (Rijk) is responsible for the implementation of the Recommendation. Coordination here is carried out jointly by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Management of the Dutch coastal zone is in hands of a multitude of public and private-sector bodies.

National Institute Coastal and Marine Management, RWS/RIKZ
The Hague


Status: Poland submitted a draft report on progress towards a national ICZM strategy in Poland to the European Commission on 11 April 2006, followed by an official statement regarding reporting to the ICZM Recommendation from the Ministry of Trasport and Construction, Department of Spatial Planning and Architecture on 28 April 2006.
No strategy has yet been developed and a national stocktaking has not been conducted. The main reasons for that is lack of financial resources and some political changes which have been taking place in Poland lately. The lack of recognition of ICZM importance on central governmental level resulted in lack of resources and support for continuous work towards ICZM implementation.
The work to formulate the strategy began in 2005, when the Department of Spatial Planning and Architecture of the Ministry of Transport and Construction (formerly the Ministry of Infrastructure) was appointed as a leading unit for ICZM issues in Poland. The official nomination of this national unit as responsible for the EU ICZM Recommendation in Poland formed a solid and indispensable basis for its implementation.
A national stakeholder conference was organised by that Ministry at which a working paper "Assumptions for the policy of coastal zone management: Towards a national strategy of integrated coastal zone management" was presented. Additionally, progress indicators as developed by the Working Group on Indicators and Data (WG-ID) were tested during the above mentioned conference.
Any specific measures integrated in ICZM to secure or improve the livelihood/employment has not been developed yet, but the vision of development has been outlined, focusing on development of ports and maritime transport and dependent areas.
There is no doubt that ICZM could provide added-value in terms of better co-ordination of efforts to implement sectoral national and EU legislation in Poland and by that to improve management in the coastal zone. However, its role is still weak, which is more a result of relatively low priority given to the coastal issues, including the environment of the Baltic Sea, by the Polish government, rather than the lack of recognition of concept of ICZM itself.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Transport and Construction
Department of Spatial Planning and Architecture
(Formerly known as the Ministry of Infrastructure)

According to the decision of the Committee of European Integration of the Polish Council of Ministers of 22 February 2005 the Polish Ministry of Transport and Construction has been appointed as a responsible national body for coordination of implementation of the integrated coastal zone management in Poland.


Status: The Portuguese Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development through its Water Institute (INAG) submitted the Portuguese Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) strategy and stocktaking report to the European Commission on 3 April 2006 as non-official (awaiting official submission by the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union).
The process of ICZM has been initiated in Portugal and first steps have been taken to integrate existing laws and procedures into the process. Sectoral coastal management has been an issue for a long time, the integration of the different sectors is rather new and has to be strengthened at all levels. EU ICZM recommendation has stimulated to rethink the existing laws, directives and policies and start a process of development towards a more integrative approach.
Reporting Institution
Ministério do Ambiente, do Ordenamento do Território e do Desenvolvimento Regional
Instituto da Água


Status: Romania has submitted an Outline Strategy for the Integrated Management of the Romanian Coastal Zone - Towards Implementation to the European Commission in February 2006. The Outline Strategy Draft, as result of the MATRA Project, was the first one for the Romanian Coast.
During the past 4 years, first steps have been made to implement the EC Reccomendation. The National ICZM Law (Emergency Ordinance 202/2002 - modified as Law 280/2003) has been subject to important changes (has been enhanced, shaped according to the EC recommendations, and proposals were made to make it more functional) and is currently waiting for debate and approval in the Romanian Parliament, together with the Outline Draft Strategy for the Romanian coast.
Visions and strategies exist (in the Outline Strategy) as basis for further sectoral development plans, but these still have to be elaborated in detail.

During the past two years the National Committee has become functional and a series of measures have been taken, aiming mainly at the environmental protection and rehabilitation of the coast. Several more technical parts of required legislation have also been approved and are on course of being implemented. It is nevertheless too early to make any previsions on the future evolution, especially in the absence of the new and improved version of the ICZM Law and Strategy.

As it is still an outline draft, it can be foreseen that many technical problems / conflicts shall appear during its future implementation. As a general problem encountered so far in Romania, the effective law enforcement shall be the critical point. Nevertheless, the National Committee, as leading unit of the Romanian ICZM, has already begun to abide by the defined strategy.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Environment and Water Protection

The coordinating entity for ICZM - the National Committee has been founded and is functional (meeting twice a year in regular meetings and whenever necessary). The National Committee consists of all important stakeholders involved on the Romanian coast, and has begun to implement the ICZM requirements and principles.

Status: A brief summary report on ICZM in Slovenia, together with the country's main report, Regional Development Programme for South Primorska Region, Slovenia, 2002-2006, covering most issues of ICZM, was submitted for use in this Evaluation on 1 June 2006. No formal reporting was submitted to the European Commission.
Although ICZM is not officially in practice in Slovenia, first steps are in place with integrated management of ICZM processes established and running successfully within two major programmes: Regional Development Programme 2002 -2006 (RDP) and CAMP Slovenia (2004-2006).
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy
Office for Spatial Planning

The entire Slovenian coastal area is divided into three municipalities, namely, Koper, Izola and Piran, and managed by one water-management authority, the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, Regional Unit Koper.

The EU ICZM recommendation is being implemented through Slovenian institutional structures, including: the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, The Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, The Office for Spatial Planning, The Agency for Efficient Use of Energy, The Inspectorate for the Environment and Spatial Planning, Maritime Transport Administration, The National Agency for Regional Development, The Agency for the Agricultural Markets and Rural Development, Regional Development Agency of South Primorska and (coastal and karst) municipalities. The main regional institution for coastal development is the Regional Development Agency which manages the preparation and implementation of the Regional Development Plan.


Status: The Spanish Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and stocktaking report, bearing the title Gestión Integrada de las Zonas Costeras en España (Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Spain, was submitted officially to the European Commission by the General Directorate of Coasts, Ministry of Environment, Spain, on 28 March 2006.
A Spanish national ICZM strategy has been developed with clear strategic and specific objectives that conform with the principles of good ICZM management. Convincing initiatives, measures and activities are proposed that take account of the highly decentralized governmental structure of Spain and the need for new multi-level governance instruments concerned with coastal management. Some actions have already emanated from the national strategy in 2006, a full implementation is targeted for 2008.
There are some substantial activities that are funded and are to start already in 2006: a) 35 million € for buying built-up land on the coast for protection and restoration of the coast and b) some 6 million € to start the Director's Plan for Sustainability.
The Director's Plan for the Sustainability of the Coast is also to take off in this year. In the Spanish report regional, national and even European ICZM fora with stakeholders are proposed and to be established with support of the European Union. The Spanish ICZM Strategy foresees a convincing and strong future participation of stakeholders e.g. in the National Coast Council. However, the participation of stakeholders in the development of the Spanish ICZM Strategy is still seen as weak.
The Spanish ICZM strategy is intending to consider coastal matters towards the hinterland on a river basin approach. This is seen as most appropriate and well linked to another important EU regulatory instrument, i.e. the Water Framework Directive. In Spain, for several areas, authorities exist managing the scarce water bodies of river basins. These need to be connected to and firmly involved in the coastal management process.
Reporting Institution
General Directorate of Coasts Ministry of Environment


us: The National Report, “Vad hander med kusten” Erfarenheter från kommunal och regional planering samt EU-projekt i Sveriges kustområden, was officially submitted by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Division for Sustainable Development and Integration of Environmental Considerations to the European Commission on 24 February 2006.
No formal process to develop and implement ICZM in the country exists and no steps have been taken to establish ICZM in the country (from the perspective of the academic community and the general public). A possible exception could be consideration of the gradual introduction of the Water Framework Directive.
The coastal governance of the country is very centralized giving only very limited room for regional and local initiatives that goes beyond the relatively strict national regulation.The existing "Planning and Building Act" governs all activities in coastal areas, and is the cornerstone for spatial planning processes, viewed as a kind of 'ICZM Act'. Rather strict and rigid central planning implemented through this Act hampers local initiatives to develop economic activities in coastal areas. From environmental standpoint large parts of the coastline is still in relatively pristine conditions.
It is important to mention, that the traditional approach to coastal management and planning has been very successful from an environmental conservation standpoint. Hence the need to introduce the ICZM approach to planning may not be considered a priority in Sweden, at least not from an environmental point of view. There are no inter-regional organizations involved in the area of coastal zone development. The newly established Water Districts (to implement the WFD) will probably play a more important role in the future.
Reporting Institution
Ministry of Sustainable Development
Division for Sustainable Development and Integration of Environmental Considerations

The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning is the central government authority for planning, the management of land and water resources including coastal areas, urban development, building and housing. The agency is an authority under the Ministry of Sustainable Development and monitors the function of the legislative system under the Planning and Building Act and related legislation, proposing regulatory changes, if necessary. The agency also provides information to those engaged in planning, housing, construction and building inspection activities.


 Status: Turkey has not reported officially to the EU ICZM Recommendation.
Holistic legal frameworks for ICZM and institutional mechanisms have not yet been established in Turkey. The legal framework offers neither a wide scope ICZM law nor a special institutional development in this area and therefore efforts do not go far beyond the project level.
Since there is neither a law that covers all respects related to coastal zones, nor a special institutional structure for this purpose, various organisations have authority which overlap and create gaps in management.
Increasing coastal problems led to the establishment of a number of units at the central governmental level, such as the 'Coastal Inventory Agency' within the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (charged with determining the coastal shoreline and developing inventories with regard to the implementation of the Coastal Law) and the National Committee on Turkish Coastal Zone Management (KAY) in 1993 (serves an important role in the ICZM approach at the national level through the organisation of seminars, courses and projects).
Turkey has mainly committed itself to the implementation of integrated coastal zone management by taking part in the development of and signing of several international agreements and conventions.
Reporting Institution

The Ministry of Public Works and Settlements has the final authority for planning in coastal areas, except in areas declared as tourism centres where the authority is transferred to the Ministry for Tourism

National Reporting for the European Union

European Coastal Member States (20 + 4 Accession and Candidate Countries) were encouraged through a Communication from the Commission and the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the implementation of ICZM in Europe in May 2002 to elaborate and implement, by February 2006, a national integrated coastal zone management strategy on the basis of a national stocktaking (see also project overview).
The Recommendation also established eight principles to be followed in the national strategies that had been established on the basis of experiences developed by the Demonstration Programme:

  • A broad overall perspective (thematic andgeographic) 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 organizations representing coastal zone residents, non-governmental organizations 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

Evaluation Results:

Overall, 18 of the 24 coastal Member States and Accession Countries have officially reported on the implementation of the ICZM Recommendation by mid-June 2006. For the six missing countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Italy and Turkey) alternative information sources were used to establish the status of implementation of the ICZM Recommendation.

In the 20 EU coastal Member States and 4 Accession Countries, the status of policy implementation is as follows:

No country has implemented an ICZM National Strategy as prompted by the EU ICZM Recommendation, while one country - Spain - has prepared an ICZM National Strategy, which has been approved by the relevant Ministry.


In six countries (Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom), an ICZM National Strategy is ready for approval by national authorities or under development; its implementation is pending.

In six further countries (Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Netherlands and Slovenia), documents considered as equivalent to an ICZM National Strategy have been developed, or coastal zone management strategies have become (or planned to become) an integral part of its spatial planning processes.

In eleven countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Turkey), no ICZM equivalent policies are in advanced stages of preparation, only fragmented tools are in place to address coastal issues

Coastal Zone Management in Developing Countries

Coastal Zone Management of Belize
(Source: http://www.coastalzonebelize.org/legislation/cap329.pdf)

The coastal zone of Belize is a complex system comprised of the barrier reef, the three offshore atolls, hundreds of patch reefs, extensive seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and over 1,000 cayes. This area is home to several endangered species such as the West Indian manatee, American crocodile, marine turtles and several birds. It is a very dynamic region where land and sea meet, resulting in highly productive natural processes. Most of the development pressures are occurring along the coast and cayes, resulting in degraded coastal resources and loss of critical habitat.

Belize's coastal zone is important for the continued economic development of the country as it hosts 45% of the population as well as various productive sectors, including two of the major industries, fisheries and tourism. In 1999, $BZ200-300 million was generated from activities taking place within the coastal zone. However, responsibility for undertaking functions related to the economic development, resource and environmental management in the coastal zone of Belize is divided among numerous agencies which may lead to fragmentation of management responsibility and ad-hoc decision making on development; inadequate resource allocation and cumulative effects on the natural resource base.

The coastal zone of Belize as described in the Coastal Zone Management Act includes the area bounded by the shoreline up to the mean highwater-mark on its landward side and by the outer limit of the territoral sea on its seaward side, including all coastal waters.

The beginning of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) in Belize dates back to a workshop held in San Pedro in 1989. At this time, it was recognized that an integrated, holistic approach to management of our coastal resources was necessary to ensure their use and protection in the long-term. The participants at this meeting recommended that a CZM Unit be established under the Fisheries Department. This unit would initiate the integrated CZM programme required; taking a multi-sectoral approach that links the effects of land-based activities on the marine environment.

By 1990, the small CZM Unit was functioning and the CZM Technical Committee was established. Although this programme made good progress, it clearly needed expanding and strengthening, but funding was required. In early 1993, the GEF/UNDP CZM Project was launched, providing significant financing that has made integrated CZM in Belize a permanent and well-established national programme.

The Coastal Zone Management Plan of Belize

The Coastal Zone Management Plan, as prescribed in the Coastal Zone Management Act 1998, defines the policies, strategies and guidelines for the management and conservation of Belize's coastal resources (Christie 1998). This plan is being developed in two phases, the initial stage being the development of the National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy for Belize.

The second phase is the development of regional guidelines for the nine coastal planning regions and the updated Caye Development Policy.

As required by the Act, the CZM Plan will be implemented by governmental and non-governmental agencies responsible for aspects of the Plan. The CZM Authority will oversee the monitoring of the implementation for the plan.


The CZM Act was passed in April 1998, and became operational in May of that year. It provides for the institutional arrangements for CZM in Belize through the establishment of a CZM Authority and its technical arm, the CZM Institute.

The Act also establishes an Advisory Council, appointed by the Authority. This Council is comprised of a representation from the government, private sector, NGO community and academia. Its function is to advise the Institute on technical matters pertaining to coastal issues and to facilitate coordination among agencies.

The Act also provides for the preparation of a Coastal Zone Management Plan and for the introduction of fiscal measures to support the work of the Authority and Institute.

CZM Authority of Belize

The CZM Authority was established under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives. It is comprised of a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister and a Chief Executive Officer appointed by the Board.

The Authority is an autonomous public statutory body charged with the responsibility of implementing and monitoring policies that govern the use and development of the coastal zone in Belize.

The major functions of the Authority are:

  • Advise the Minister on all matters related to the coastal zone, and on the formation of policies
  • Assist in development of programmes and projects
  • Foster regional and international collaboration
  • Commission research and monitoring
  • In consultation with stakeholders, assist in preparation of development guidelines and review the CZM Plan prepared in accordance with the Act
  • Maintain the national coral reef and coastal water quality monitoring programmes

Coastal Zone Management of South America (By COASTMAN International Network)


Chile covers approx. 4,500 km from the North to the South but only 80 – 400 km from the West to the East. In the West, it is limited by the Pacific, in the East, by the Andes Mountains which reach up to 6,900 m. Chile is one of the most urban regions of the globe. Only 13 out of 100 inhabitants live in rural settlements, almost 40 % of the population live in the capital Santiago. After a very dynamic period from 1990 –1997, economic growth has slowed down (2002: 2.1% GNP). Chile is integrated in the global economy as few countries are: Foreign trade amounts to approx. 54 % of the GNP. With copper, timber products, fish, wine, fruit and vegetables, Chile has a wide export portfolio. Notwithstanding the success of the national economy over the last 15 years we have to note that the economic boom is neither ecologically sustainable nor socially agreeable. Many export businesses are based on the success of raw materials, which are not renewable and are produced at high ecological and social costs.

The coast of Chile
The densely populated urban regions and industrial areas of Chile are situated directly along the coast, or very close to the coast. Fishing has always played a great role. Most important economic activities are fishing, processing of fish, ports, and tourism. The industrial salmon farming in the south of the country is becoming a major economic factor, but creates environmental burdens that cannot yet be esteemed.

Size: 1.285.260 km2
Length of coast: 3.080 km
Inhabitants: 27 millions
Average age: 23,5 years
Growth of population: 1.6%
Peru consists of three different geographic zones. Costa is a narrow plane along the pacific coast. Sierra consists of the Andes Cordillera with the Andes Highland, and Selva is a virtually unpopulated lowland in the Amazon basin.

Since 1998, the economic recession and the difficult economic world climate with low commodity prices opposed the recovery of the Peruvian economy. Since early 2002, an economic upswing can be noticed. The Gross National Product (GNP) grew by 5.2% in 2002. The most important business segment is the service provider business, followed by industry, agriculture and mining. Half of the population are poor; approx. two thirds of the population live in ecologically sensitive areas.

The coast of Peru
The coastal zone of Peru has 53 rivers and valleys with farming – mainly for the domestic market. The farms are small, with old-fashioned equipment, and don’t have the capital for necessary modernization.

The most important big cities and industrial towns (steel, chemical and petrochemical products, vehicles etc.) are located along the coast. Fishing is also a major economic factor and contributes 5% to the GNP, and it is particularly important for exports. The cold seas close to the coast are rich in Plankton, the basis for the large number of Anchoveta, which account for roughly 80 % of all catches, most of which are processed to fishmeal.


Size: 1.14 millions km2
Length of coast: Caribbean: 1.760 km, Pacific: 1.448 km
Inhabitants: 42 millions
Average age: 25.6 years
Growth of population: 1.6%
Colombia is the fourth greater country of South America with an area of 2’032.828 Km2, of that 1’140.309 km2 corresponds to continental territory and 892,519 km2 to marine territory, identify five natural regions: Caribbean, Andean, Pacific, Orinoquía and Amazonía.

Colombia is considered like one of the mega-diverse countries of the planet, since it contains between 10% and 15% of global diversity with just 0.77% of world continental surface. Its hydrics yield average calculates in 60 l/s/km2, being this one six times greater than the yield world continental average and three times the yield average of South America.

Population surpasses the 42 million inhabitants, is concentrated in the urban zones reaching a 69.3% and esteem that to 2050 year, this proportion arrives at 84.5% with an urban and rural population from 70 million inhabitants.

The data available on the PIB reveal that the structure of Colombian economy has not changed substantially during last years (1994-2000 period). The commerce and services sectors, jointly, are those that contribute more, with approximately 59% of real PIB. They follow farming and mining activities, with near 19% and the manufacturing industry with near 15% of participation in the PIB. The prognoses indicate that for the future years (2002-2004) the national PIB will oscillate between 2.2 and 2.5 %.

The Coastal Zone of Columbia
Throughout its 3,882 km of coast in both the oceans and their insulars systems that a set of islands and keys in the Caribbean Sea (Archipelago of San Andrés, Old Providence and Santa Catalina, as well as its keys, small barren islands and low adjacents) and in the Pacific Ocean (Islands of Malpelo and Gorgona), presents all the rich, diverse and productive types of ecosystems marine-coastal of the tropic; with a diverse culturally population, and an increasing development of economic activities.

Unlike most of the coastal countries of the world, the number of inhabitants on the coastal strip is inferior to a quarter of the total of the population (12.5% the Caribbean and 2.0% Pacific). The Continental Caribbean region includes the departments of the Guajira, Magdalena, Atlantico, Bolivar, Cordova, Sucre, Antioquia and Choco, lodging within the area between the coastline and the level of 60 meters of height, 26,898 km2 and the territory of 82 municipalities; is one of the regions of the country that more quickly has increased its population.
The cultural heterogeneity of the Continental Caribbean is related to different modalities and construction of the territory; at the moment of Conquest in this region were five linguistics families that they are the Arawak, Macrochibcha, First Caribbean Sector and Zenú Sector.


Size: 248.000 de km2
Length of coast: 2.250 km aprox.
Inhabitants: 12,15 millones
Average age: 22,5 años
Growth of population: 2,1%

The land got its name because of its geographic location at the equator, and consists of the Amazon lowland, the Andes highland, and the coastal regions. The territory of Ecuador also includes the Galapagos-Islands, which lie approx. 1,000 km offshore.

Between 1998 and 2000 the country has suffered its hardest crisis of economy and finances since 70 years. It slowly recovers. The growth of the Gross National Product over the last three years was between 2 and 3.5 %. The economy mainly depends on the export of agricultural products (bananas, cocoa, coffee, tropical fruit, and flowers), fish and shrimps as well as natural oil from the Amazon lowland. It also depends on the transfer of money from Ecuadorians who work the USA or in Europe and send back part of their wages.

The coast of Ecuador
The coastal region covers roughly one quarter of the country. In wide parts, it consists of fruitful humid swamps and is interspersed with low hills. The biggest coastal city is Guayaquil, an industrial city with 2.1 million inhabitants. While the delta areas are mostly covered with mangrove woods, the outer coasts have long beaches – ideal for tourism. The phenomenon El Niño, a strong warm tidal stream along the Pacific coasts is the biggest risk to the coastal area. His extreme climatic effects cause serious economic damages: El Niño 97 – 98 caused damages of approx. 2.6 billion US$.

The use of the coast by industry, agriculture, fishing, shrimp farming, tourism and growth of the cities is a great burden on the environment. The region has applied IKZM as a control instrument over the last 18 years with the intention of buffering the environmental damages, coordinating the use of resources, protecting the environment, and increasing the standard of life at the coast.


Size: 200.000 km2 aprox.
Length of coast: 17.460 km aprox.
Inhabitants: 82 millones aprox.
Average age: 21,8 años
Growth of population: 2,6%
Mexico has a territory of approx. 3,400 km from the Northwest to the Southeast. Geographically, Mexico is part for Northern America. Culturally, it is part of South America. It is a country full of opposites; there is a small rich upper class, a growing, poor urban working class, and a generally poor urban population.

After the economic breakdown in 1995 the Mexican national economy in 1996 resumes its growth course and continued this trend through 1997 – 2000. After a slope in growth in 2001, the following year brought a small growth of 0.9 %. The environmental situation in the country is critical. The environmental damages are esteemed at already 12.5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) per year. The development of urban industrial centers was frequently not accompanied by any parallel development of infrastructure. Waste, sewage and emissions are frequently discharged into the nature without prior treatment. In the underdeveloped rural regions, poverty leads to destruction of the natural resources of life. The awareness for the environment is not yet developed. For great parts of the population, the fight for survival has priority. The society is also politically and ethnically shattered.

The coast of Mexico
The coast covers a length of 9.330 km, of which approx. 2/3 along the Pacific and 1/3 Gulf of Mexico – Caribbean. The peninsula Yucatán is a unique geological formation: there are no rivers. Subterranean, porous stone sediments drain the whole peninsula of Yucatán. Drinking water is also gathered from subterranean streams. Discharges of sewage deteriorate the quality of drinking water.

Tourism is an important and still growing economic segment. Holiday regions such as Baja California, Acapulco and Cancún are famous all over the world. In Yucatán, tourism mostly expands in very fragile ecological systems.

The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Instituto de Ecologia A. C. (INECOL) (CONACyT), Mexico established the terms of reference for defining and implementing the Program ICZM-Gulf/Caribbean. The fundamentals are:

  • the scientific, economic, social, and geopolitical importance of the region;
  • the agreements of Mexico in its national and international agenda;
  • scientific knowledge on coastal vulnerability, ecological integrity and coastal risks, and uncertainty for sustainable development;
  • the linkage between the academia, social, economic, and legal sectors among the Mexican States in the coastal zone of the region.

Towards formulation, formalization, implementation, evaluation, and defining priorities of the Program ICZM-Gulf/Caribbean, SEMARNAT and INECOL created the "Panel" instrument as a regional initiative, which has the "Integration" as the key word throughout six basic levels of integration:

  • between sectors (coast/land and coast/sea activities);
  • between the land and aquatic components of the coastal zone;
  • among the three levels of Governance
  • between States and Municipalities;
  • among social, economic, political, legal scientific and technological disciplines
  • between the agendas of Mexico and USA
  • (Source: GulfBase.org)


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