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Sacred cows in coastal management: the need for a ‘cheap and transitory’ model

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The participative, ‘bottom-up’ approaches of contemporary European ICZM (integrated coastal zone management) are ineffectual and unsustainable. The approach lacks the authority and resources to deliver ICZM and should be abandoned. A new model of ICZM in a predominantly sectoral administrative framework is presented. It requires that capacity be built in existing statutory authorities and in-house ICZM groups be established. Time-limited participatory projects would be used to gain information on conflicts and issues that transcend existing sectoral boundaries, but this information would be passed to the established statutory authorities for action. A sound statutory and legislative basis is the essential prerequisite for effective coastal management – not voluntary partnerships.

Keywords: Europe; coastal management; consensus; non-statutory ICZM; participation; statutory ICZM

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Coastal and Marine Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2006


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