Integrated Coastal Zone Management

 

Coastal zones contain some of world's most intensively used environments.  Increasing demand for coastal resources has led, in some cases, to degradation through loss of habitat and fisheries resources, reduced water quality and quantity, accelerated erosion and accumulation of pollution.  This degradation has serious social and economic consequences for coastal communities.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a management approach that acknowledges the interconnectedness of natural systems, and seeks to integrate efforts across the various levels of government, policies, instruments and stakeholders to support sustainable use of coastal resources.  

The need to bring together all the local, regional, and national policy-makers and other stakeholders whose activities affect coastal regions is central to ICZM as, without coordination at all levels, efforts to protect coastlines will only have limited success. Stakeholders should include not only government officials and policy-makers but also other interested parties such as local residents, non-governmental organisations and businesses.

ICZM not only aims to protect the natural functioning of coastal ecosystems, but also seeks to improve the economic and social well-being of coastal zone communities. In the coastal zone, these environmental and socioeconomic goals are intrinsically interconnected.  ICZM can be applied in many of the world's coastal areas which face problems of deterioration of their environmental, socio-economic and cultural resources and competition for space by the fishing, shipping, agriculture and tourism industries, amongst others.

MRAG has a wealth of experience in ICZM.  Projects have included provision of expertise in planning for protected area management, promoting institutional support for ICZM and supporting community based fisheries and flood plain management. ICZM projects have been conducted on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).