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Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

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Action in the UK

UK approach to management of coastal areas

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 (PDF 350KB) 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 (PDF 200KB) 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 Act 2009.  

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.

ICZM and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

The principles of ICZM are embedded throughout relevant proposals in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 introduced to the House of Lords on 4 December 2008. The Act will offer a real opportunity to join up marine management with existing arrangements on land, in a way that we could never do before. Marine planning in particular will offer new opportunities for coastal regulators and communities to have a say in the way the marine environment is managed, and conversely for marine management to give proper consideration to land planning. ICZM is a priority for UK Government and something we will continue to incorporate at every stage of developing our marine planning system.

Coastal integration does however extend much further than our marine management proposals. It is important that changes we make to marine planning are considered alongside other changes being made to planning structures on land, and are made to work effectively with them.

We have looked at how the new marine planning and licensing proposals might work alongside existing planning and decision making structures on land, with the Environment Agency.

This research was taken forward with a wide range of stakeholders in two workshops held in Exeter and Reading and aimed to explore the effects that the new proposals might have in coastal areas, and also any related implications for the new Marine Management Organisation.  Links to the final report and the annexes, which contain all outputs from the workshop sessions, are attached.

How did we get here?

UK stocktake

To implement the EU recommendation, Defra, jointly with the Devolved Administrations, commissioned a stocktake or audit of the current framework for managing coastal activities in the UK; looking at current practice, legislation, institutions and stakeholders.  The final report with conclusions was published in April 2004.

The Stocktake presented a mixed picture of the current level of integrated management in the UK. There were good examples at the local level where voluntary integrated action to resolve conflicts had been successful.

The Stocktake also demonstrated that coastal fora/partnerships were an effective way of moving ICZM forward at local level.

EU Recommendation on ICZM

In 2002, European Member States adopted a Recommendation on implementing integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in Europe. Member States were asked to report back to the Commission on their experience in implementing the Recommendation 45 months after its adoption.

EU evaluation of the ICZM Recommendation

In 2007, the European Commission reviewed progress on the recommendation, and decided that improvements were being achieved across Europe, although in some cases slowly.  The Commission issued a Communication concluding that no further actions or new legislation was needed at this stage.

Further information

Project: ME1405 - The Financial Benefits to Working in Partnership at the Coast.

Defra in partnership with the Local Government Association’s Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues and the Coastal Partnerships Working Group commissioned Entec Ltd to assess the benefits to partners of working in partnership at the coast, and where possible to quantify these benefits in financial terms. The Project Final Report and executive summary were published in July 2008 and are now available to download through the links below. Hard copies may be available through the contact email below.

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Page last modified: 12 November 2009
Page published: 12 August 2002