project part-financed by the European Union

Opportunities for PlanCoast

European Policies on Coastal Zones and Maritime Areas

The PlanCoast project evolved at a time of great changes within the international framework governing coastal and maritime management. At the launch of the project ICZM and sea use planning were still considered separate approaches, which is reflected in the Work Packages structure.

In its 2002 recommendation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management the European Union has set out some common principles on which sound coastal planning and management should be based. Subsequently, it has asked all EU Member States to prepare and submit National ICZM Strategies by spring 2006. Their assessment has resulted in proposals from the Commission on how this initiative is to be taken forward, and formed the basis of the ICZM chapter within the EU Green Book on Maritime Policy.

EU Green Book on Maritime Policy has been accompanied by a broad consultation process, in which also PlanCoast project partners collectively took part. PlanCoast main postulate to combine the strengths of ICZM and maritime (see-use) planning into one approach has found resemblance in the resulting Blue Book on European Maritime Policy. It is where the term Integrated Maritime Spatial Planning has been officially introduced.

The Blue Book recognises that IMSP will yield its full benefits only if all coastal Member States introduce such systems, use compatible and comparable systems and learn from each other‘s experience. This is exactly what the PlanCoast project set out to do.

In early 2008 the UNEP–MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan) has prepared an ICZM Protocol to be adopted by all Mediterranean Countries in the coming years.

Also the Black Sea Commission with the assistance of the Global Environmental Facility has taken numerous steps during the last years in achieving an agreement on a common ICZM strategy for the Black Sea.

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