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Lessons Learned from ICOM Initiatives in Canada and China

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Practical experience derived from current and developing integrated coastal and ocean management (ICOM) initiatives around the world demonstrates that these collaborative and integrated approaches to managing coastal and ocean resources are strongly influenced by various contextual factors including political, administrative, institutional, social, economic, and cultural. A comparative evaluation of two such ICOM initiatives—off the east coasts of Canada and China, respectively—provides valuable insights into how these factors play in the development, implementation, and success of these initiatives in two different settings. The evaluation framework developed and applied in this research focuses on evaluations of governance performance and management capacity, and applies both process- and progress-oriented indicators. Key findings include: (1) The Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management (ESSIM) Initiative focuses on the participatory approach that emphasizes equity and consensus among stakeholders, whereas the Bohai Sea Sustainable Development and Environmental Management (BSSDEM) Program benefits greatly from a comprehensive approach that integrates different governments/departments and bridges among stakeholders; (2) management approaches to ICOM strongly depend on the program objectives/priorities and local circumstances. Moreover, a total of thirteen recommendations are provided for the purposes of strengthening on-going programs and replicating success at a larger scale.

Keywords: ICOM approaches; ICOM process; integrated coastal and ocean management; outcome evaluations; performance evaluations; process indicators; progress indicators

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: (Alumni) Marine Affairs Program, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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