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Integrated Management of Coastal Areas in the Face of Climate Change Adaptation

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Integrated Management of Coastal Areas in the Face of Climate Change Adaptation


Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICM) is a socio environmental issue of increasing importance. In the face of fisheries collapse, climate change and increasing human pressure on marine coastal ecosystems, multi-stakeholder management of the world's coasts is vital to conservation and sustainable exploitation of coasts.

The ICM project aims to gauge Member States' knowledge about ICM and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and provide the most up-to-date research and data with specific attention to climate change adaptation in coastal areas. It also sets out to identify effective approaches and troubleshoot obstacles to implementation and disseminate this information to Member States' thereby streamlining the most important policy options.

There are several important legal initiatives and approaches that have been developed or that are related to ICM . In 2002 the Council and European Parliament adopted a Recommendation on ICM that outlined eight principles for the management of land and sea space around Europe. In 2007 the EU adopted the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) which aims to more effectively use implementation tools of Maritime Spatial Planning, which is a public process for analyzing and allocating spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. In addition there are other important legislative frameworks, such as the 2008 Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the ICM Protocol to the Barcelona Convention, and the 2008 Floods Directive.

Part of the ICM project is to identify opportunities for improved implementation mainly through updating and the development of a guideline on ICM for Member States.

The project will:

  • Compile fact sheets on possible good practice measures and support measures for integrated coastal management and climate change adaptation in coastal zones, including linkages with Maritime Spatial Planning, which can support the implementation of ICM, the MSFD, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU strategy on climate change adaptation
  • Prepare the ground for a guidance document with focus on how to turn the eight ICM principles, the 10 MSP principles and climate change adaptation into concrete action.
  • Further develop the web-based platform OURCOAST for the sharing of best practices and experiences in coastal zone management and planning
  • Carry out 6 case studies. Two of these case studies should consider in depth all aspects, including social and economic impacts and cost-benefit of the measures and the links between Integrated Coastal Zone Management, land-use, climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity protection and conservation, such as Blue Carbon and Green Infrastructure initiatives. Four case studies on projects new to the OURCOAST-database and related to climate change adaptation measures in coastal zones and case studies linking ICM and MSP.
  • Provide input to the EU platform on climate change adaptation (CLIMATE-ADAPT)
  • Investigate options for coordination and integration of the OURCOAST database with other relevant information sharing platforms such as WISE-RTD, EDMONET.
Susanne Altvater, Ass.iur.
Andrew Reid
Stefanie Schmidt
Franziska Lehmann
Project ID
maritime policy, coastal protection, climate adaptation, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, ICZM, Maritime Spatial Planning, MSP, ClimateAdapt, EDMONET, OURCOAST, Member States
dissemination, fact sheets, guidance document, web-based platform, case studies