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If coastal resource system are to remain productive, their management requires a holistic and comprehensive approach. It may be necessary to define a broad management zone - one extending from the coastal hinterlands and lowlands (the “dry side”) to the coastal waters and the deep sea (the “wet side”); and a multi-sector management programme must be devised so that all stakeholders and all affected government agencies are involved. Another imperative is broad public support.

The subject of this report, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), is a planning and coordinating process which deals with development management and and coastal resources and which is focused on the land/water interface. Many countries are now organizing ICZM programmes but only a few (e.g., the USA, Sri Lanka) have had programmes in full operation. Other countries have moved in the direction of comprehensive ICZM programmes or have organized partial ICZM programmes (e.g., Philippines, Australia, Costa Rica).

The ICZM process is explained by Chua Thia-Eng as follows (pers. comm.):“ICZM provides the opportunity to allow policy orientation and development of management strategies to address the issue of resource use conflicts and to control the impacts of human intervention on the environment. It provides institutional and legal framework, focuses on environmental planning and management, coordinates various concerned agencies to work together towards a common objective. Sectoral planning and management, is still [essential but should operate within the general framework of ICZM. Maintaining species habitats, natural resource base and management of development processes are part of ICZM programme”.

2.1 Driving Forces

Behind the devastating coastal resources depletion that many countries are suffering are several major driving forces, including some areas of misunderstanding. Examples of these forces are listed below (paraphrased from Chua and White, 1988):

Until such forces are offset, there is little hope to accomplish environmental conservation, or resource sustainability.

Programme initiation for ICZM is usually in response to a perceived use conflict, a severe decline in a resource, or a devastating experience with natural hazards. Launching a coastal programme demands strong motivation. Such motivation can arise from events that dramatize the importance and vulnerability of coastal resources. The potential long-term socio-economic benefits of coastal management must be evident in order for environmental quality and natural area protection to enjoy continued support. Fisheries productivity, increased tourism revenues, sustained mangrove forestry, and security from natural hazard devastation appear to be the four most common and presuasive arguments for ICZM (Sorensen and McCreary, 1990).

2.2 The Need for Intergrated Management

Clearly, it is becoming more and more difficult to manage any one particular coastal natural resource or enhance one economic sector in the absence of a comprehensive, integrated, framework for policy planning and management. The overall objective of an integrated management programme, like ICZM, is to provide for the best long-term and sustained use of coastal natural resources and for perpetual maintenance of the most beneficial natural environment.

ICZM incorporates modern principles of planning and resources management, intensive information bases and interdisciplinary processes. It has proved to be an effective general framework for dealing with conflicts arising from interactions of the various uses of coastal areas. It aims at coordinated development and resources management.

For ICZM to succeed, a broad context of government and interest group involvement is essential. Fishing, mining, shipping, defence, public health, and recreation are complex activities requiring cooperative management and intersectoral coordination. To accoplish the coordination requires the full involvement of all the various stakeholders through an ICZM comprehensive and integrated programme.

For many countries, there is an urgency about adopting a systematic programme to conserve coastal resources. As a result of world population growth and migrations, six out of ten people now live within 60 km of the coast and the population of the coastal zone is projected to double within the next 20 to 30 years. Also, global environmental change (e.g., sea level rise) may have its biggest impact on coastal areas (IUCN, 1990).

2.3 Benefits of ICZM

ICZM programmes can: 1) minimize costly delays in project implementation; 2) minimize damage to the marine environment and its resources; 3) minimize losses to the various users (from resource depletion, access limitations, etc.); and 4) make the most efficient use of infrastructure, information and technology available to marine development sectors.

As examples, ICZM can benefit a country or region through any or all of the following:

  1. Facilitating sustainable economic growth based on natural resources

  2. Conserving natural habitats and species

  3. Controlling pollution and the alteration of shorelands and beachfronts

  4. Controlling watershed activities that adversely effect coastal zones

  5. Controlling excavation, mining and other alteration of coral reefs, water basins, and sea floors

  6. Rehabilitating degraded resources

  7. Providing a mechanism and tools for rational resource allocation

All these require coordinated actions for their accomplishment, a need that ICZM can fulfil.

2.4 Land-Sea Interactions

A major value of integrated coastal zone management is that it addresses the land and the sea simultaneously. Linkages between “dryside” (land) and “wetside” (sea) of the coast, then, preclude sustainable development of coastal/marine resources without coordinated management.

It is basic to coastal management to recognize how strongly activities on land affect the condition of the sea. The sea is impacted by distant events that occur far inland - river discharges, banana plantations, deforestation - all may affect coastal ecosystems.

Conversely, the sea strongly affects the land and intertidal areas; for example, pollution from tanker bilge washings or property destruction from cyclonic storm flooding and wave action. The countering “natural defences” of the coastline - beaches, mangroves and coral reefs - can be extremely important for protecting shorelines and coastal villages against storm waves and shore erosion.

2.5 Goals and Objectives of the ICZM Programme

The overall goal of the ICZM-type programme is to ensure optimum sustainable use of coastal natural resources, perpetual maintenance of high levels of biodiversity, and real conservation of critical habitats. Tangible objectives of ICZM include, for example, supporting fisheries, protecting the community from storm ravages, attracting tourists, promoting public health, maintaining yields from mangrove forests, preserving coral reefs. All these require coordinated community action for their accomplishment, a need that ICZM fulfils.

A major objective of ICZM is to coordinate the initiatives of the various coastal economic sectors (e.g., shipping, agriculture, fisheries) toward long-term optimal socio- economic outcomes, including resolution of conflicts between sectors and arranging beneficial trade-offs. Integrated in this way, a multi-sector approach could jointly guide the activities of the key economic sectors under an effective coastal planning and management system.

As an example of the above, both coastal tourism and fisheries depend to a large extent on a high level of environmental quality, including coastal water quality. Both sectors may be impacted by “spillover” effects such as pollution, loss of wildlife habitat and aesthetic degradation from uncontrolled oil and gas development. Therefore, these different sectors should be working through ICZM to extract safeguards from the oil industry.

In another example, fisheries may require port services similar to those which tourism depends on as well as an infrastructure system that supplies water, sanitation, transportation, and telecommunications. Therefore, plans for both tourism and fisheries should be integrated with those for transportation and public works through ICZM.

Resources management and environmental conservation, which provide the motivation for ICZM planning and management programmes, are not incompatible with economic growth. In fact, enhanced long-term economic development may be the overall driving force of ICZM. Its advocates must ensure that ICZM is not perceived to have only negative impacts on jobs, revenue, or foreign exchange. If this were the case, the programme would not be likely to survive even the initial planning stages.

2.6 Scope of the ICZM Programme

ICZM refers to a special type of governmental programme established for the purpose of conserving coastal resources or environments (Sorensen and McCreary, 1990) through control of development. Use of the term implies that the governmental unit administering the programme has distinguished a special coastal zone as a geographic area combining both ocean and terrestrial domains.

A coastal programme includes several types of resources and environments as well as the interests of the various economic sectors that are stakeholders in coastal resources. This latter aspect - the involvement of all parties of interest - is what distinguishes “Integrated” Coastal Zone Management”. The sectors may include shipping, housing, manufacturing, fisheries, agriculture, electric power, transport, nature conservation, or tourism.

To accomplish its purposes, ICZM requires several national actions, including the following:

  1. A policy commitment to support coastal resources management and environmental conservation

  2. Achieving an understanding on resources and environmental objectives among the various coastal stakeholders

  3. Establishment of a governmental office for coordination of coastal affairs

  4. Initiation of a system for review of development projets, including environmental assessment

  5. Accumulation of technical information

  6. Design and development of effective planning and management programmes

The degree to which the above are accomplished governs both the level of ICZM programme integration (collaboration among numerous government and private economic sectors) and comprehensiveness (the scope of development control and resource management objectives) that can be achieved. High levels of both can be achieved in a full-scale ICZM programme, the fundamentals of which are addressed later in this report.

Where the above tableau appears too complex or daunting, the ICZM programme can be simplified. A simple ICZM programme needs to include only the following components:

  1. Arrangements: Policy, goals, legal authorization and an enforcement mechanism

  2. Coordination: A coordination office

  3. Review: A project review/permit mechanism and environmental impact assessment procedure

To be successful, ICZM has to be a distinct process focusing on distinct issues. Its goals must be clear and unambiguous.

2.7 Extent of Jurisdiction

The ICZM programme is expected to focus most sharply on management of the physical development process using planning procedures and government regulations. Resource management will usually have been mandated to other agencies even before the ICZM programme is implemented. Because these mandates are not easily changed, management of fisheries and mangrove forest harvests will usually remain with existing resource agencies. Parks and reserves also may continue to be managed by the existing jurisdiction. Also pollution control may remain with the national agency responsible for environmental protection.

ICZM should be seen as a multi-sectoral process created to improve development planning and resource conservation though integration and cooperation. It should not be seen as a substitute for uni-sectoral programmes such as tourism or maritime administration, nor as a substitute for coastal forestry or agriculture programmes.

Regarding fisheries, while ICZM programmes can help protect fish habitat, nursery areas, and water quality in fishery areas, they do not usually address fisheries operations such as controls on harvesting (e.g., quotas, sizes, closed seasons, gear type, etc.). Because these control functions typically involve only the fishery sector, they can be handled separately. As mentioned, ICZM usually addresses multi-sector concerns. However, the ICZM format can assist fisheries harvest management and such controls as closed areas and maintenance of traditional fishing practices. ICZM can support fisheries management particularly in “developing countries beset with overfishing problems and multiple resource use conflicts” (Chua Thia-Eng, pers. comm.).

Most of the management strategies discussed in this report require direct action of governments - regulatory actions or designation of coastal land or water areas as nature reserves or managed multiple-use areas. The ICZM literature gives very little information about market-based incentives to the private sector such as:allocations, charging of user fees, tax incentives, and establishment of exclusive rights to resources (property rights). In the future, such approaches will probably be more prominent.

Because of the nature of the coastal zone and of enclosed seas resources and geographic circumstances, many of the main issues facing countries are of international scope. These problems may include sea transport, shared fisheries, cross-border pollution transport, multi-country endangered species.

Development projects are often financed by external sources. The major providers of investment capital to developing countries - World Bank, USAID, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia Development Bank, etc. - are slowly but surely taking the lead in a movement toward environmental responsibility.

2.8 Distinguishing ICZM

The natural resources of coastal areas are so different from their terrestrial counterparts as to require different and special forms of management. For example, coral reefs, beaches, coastal lagoons, submerged seagrass meadows, and intertidal mangrove forests have no counterparts in terrestrial resources. Threats to the productivity of these unique resource systems arise from development activities and their-side-effects, such as reef and beach mining, shoreline filling, marine construction, lagoon pollution, sedimentation, and other activities that are distinct from those on land. Therefore, a special and distinct management methodology is required, such as ICZM.

ICZM is interdisciplinary. It considers, coordinates, and integrates the interests of all appropriate economic sectors (Caddy, 1990). It is needed in order to cope with special conditions of coastal resource conservation and economic development. It is particularly useful in solving problems that exist between the various sectors; for example, in resolving conflicts among fisheries, tourism, oil and gas development, and public works where these sectors are all attempting to use the coastal zone simultaneously (Sorensen and McCreary, 1990).

The above needs are accomplished by managing the coastal area as a unit and by integrating the management process with all appropriate economic sectors (shipping, mining, housing, transportation, etc.). An integrated coastal zone management programme must address coastal waters and shorelands together in a single, unified programme. The programme must recognize coastal shorelands, lowlands, intertidal areas, lagoons, and open waters as a single interacting and indivisible resource unit that lies between the hinterlands and the open sea and whose future must be planned and managed as a unified whole.

This becomes a complicated undertaking because so many interests have a stake in how coastal resources are allocated (see Figure 2. 1). One potential simplification is zoning of the coastal area for advance geographic designation of permitted uses.

Development planners, particularly, must recognize that modification of the hinterlands has a high potential for adverse effects on resources of coastal zones, including enclosed seas (Clark, in press). Examples of major impacts are: land clearing and grading, agricultural pollution (runoff); siltation from eroded uplands; dams across major rivers; land filling to provide real estate for industry, housing, recreation, airports, and farmland; harbour improvement; mining/quarrying; and excessive cutting of mangroves for fuel.

Another distinguishing facet of ICZM is that it combines development management with resources management. General environmental conservation is a fundamental component. It includes some very important, but not so tangible objectives, such as nature protection and biodiversity conservation. The extent to which such environmental and bio-diversity conservation objectives should be included in any ICZM programme depends on the particular country's willingness to extend to nature the priorities usually given to economic yields, products, employment, income, and consumption. Recently, the nature motivation has been enhanced by the recent global awakening to the need for ecological conservation.

2.9 Boundaries of the Coastal Zone

The coastal area is the interface between the land and the sea and may extend inland and seaward to a variable extent, depending upon the objectives and needs of the particular programme. By virtually any set of criteria, the coastal zone is a linear band of land and water that straddles the coast - a “corridor” in planning parlance - which has a one-dimensional aspect. The second dimension (width from onshore to offshore) tends to be overshadowed by the linearity; thus people talk about being at the coast or on the coast, but but never in the coast.

The boundaries of the coastal zone depend on political, administrative, legal, ecological and pragmatic considerations because there is a broad array of possible coastal issues and because the zone can be affected by remote activities. A narrow coastal zone could be appropriate if its purpose were to manage only the shoreline and intertidal areas. If watershed issues are of concern, then an inland extension is necessary. Likewise, if the issues extend far seaward, then the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) might be included. In the case of small island countries, the whole country might be defined as coastal zone.

From a strategic and political perspective, success in creating a national ICZM- type programme may come more easily if the zone for management is narrow than if it is wide. A mandate to manage a narrow strip of transitional area, comprised of mostly tidally influenced habitats, may win approval more easily than a broader zone including deeper parts of the sea and higher and drier parts of the shorelands. The zone should include, at least, the coastal lowlands, the intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands and beaches, and offshore features such as coral reefs and island habitats.

It is often the coastal common property resources of the “wetside” that are emphasized in ICZM rather than the private property of the “dryside”. These resources can be adequately managed by a programme that gives priority to the edge zone.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1 Evolution of Coastal Management: From Concept to Practice. Source: Sorensen and McCreary (1990)

2.10 Sustainability

In most of the parts of the world, renewable coastal resources tend to be economically limited (Snedaker and Getter, 1985). Over time, the demand for a given resource will commonly exceed the supply (unless there is a corresponding increase in price), be it arable land, fresh water, wood or fish. Suistainable use management helps to ensure that renewable resources remain available to future generations in abundance (and at the lowest price).

Suistainable exploitation implies the wise use and careful management (conservation) of individual species and communities, together with the habitats and ecosystems on which they depend, so that their current or potential usefulness to people is not impaired.

Resources should be maintained so that the ability of a resource to renew itself is never jeopardized. Such management maintains biological potential and enhances long-term economic potential of renewable natural marine resources.

The criterion for sustainable use is that the resource not be harvested, extracted or utilized in excess of the amount which can be regenerated. In essence, the resource is seen as a capital investment with an annual yield; it is therefore the yield that is utilized and not the capital investment which is the resource base. By sustaining the resource base, annual yields are assured in perpetuity (Snedaker and Getter, 1985).

Sustainability is the alternative to resource depletion caused by excessive exploitation for short-term profit. An economic corollary is that development projects should be designed to sustain themselves without continued monetary subsidy (from governments, international donors, etc)

For development and management purposes, the coastal zone is an economic entity, like farmlands, production forests, rangelands or cities. Coastal renewable resources should be managed to produce benefits on a long-term, sustainable, basis. Some fisheries are managed on the principle of “optimum sustained yield” (OSY) but other resources often are not. However, mangrove silviculture in Malaysia is an example of a planned sustainable yield programme.

Exclusive use of a particular coastal resource unit for a single economic purpose is discouraged by ICZM in favour of a balance of multiple uses whereby economic and social benefits are maximized - conservation and development then become compatible goals (if “conservation” is used in its classic sense).

The word “conservation” (in its English language version) came into use early in this century. It was used extensively in the USA by the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1908) to mean, simply, “wise use” of natural resources or one might say, “the control of exploitation to ensure resource sustainability”. In this classic sense “conservation” and “sustainable use” are nearly analogous.

Unfortunately, in a broader vernacular use, conservation is used interchangeably with such words as “protection” and “preservation” ; and “ conservationist” is used interchangeably with “environmentalist” or “ecologist”. Consequently, using conservation interchangeably with sustainable use could cause confusion. Therefore, (1) the term “resource management” is used as the agent for achieving sustainable use of resources and (2) “conservation” conjunctively as in environmental conservation (broad) or bio-diversity conservation (narrow).

2.11 Creating Protected Areas

Coastal and marine nature reserves should form a complementary and integral part of ICZM programmes. Such reserves are a necessary component of coastal resource stewardship. While the primary ICZM programme utilizes the regulatory powers of government to achieve resource conservation, by controlling private development activities and resolving potentially divisive conflicts among competing users of the coastal zone, this accomplishes only a part of the job. Additional and more focused natural area conservation (the custodial approach) can be accomplished by exercising the proprietary rights (rights by virtue of ownership) of government through declaration of protected areas - resource reserves, natural areas, and/or national parks.

Protected areas complement and make possible other objectives of ICZM by conserving nursery areas for fisheries production, enhancing tourism revenues and recreational benefits, preserving wilderness values, promoting baseline scientific and management studies, and so forth. At the same time, protected areas gain from the ICZM programme important protection from external impacts. Thus, ICZM and protected areas programmes can be mutually beneficial. Together they ensure the maintenance of a healthy resource base upon which to build sustainable development.

It is also possible for the resource users and private property owners to assist with coastal resources conservation through voluntary actions of their own. ICZM programmes can be organized to encourage private protection of natural areas through provision of incentives.

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