LIFE supports integrated management approaches for Europe’s coastal zones

Source: DG Environment, EC

Europe’s coastal and marine environments experience a variety of inter-related environmental challenges which LIFE is helping to tackle through contributions to goals set out in the EU’s Coastal and Marine Policy. This policy framework contains two distinct and complementary areas of intervention covering maritime matters and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM).

LIFE has provided important support during the expansion of EU ICZM methods. This dates back to a series of projects from the ICZM Demonstration Programme which explored integrated management approaches and cooperation procedures in European coastal zones. Findings from these path-finding ICZM LIFE projects fed into the EU’s ICZM recommendation which is currently under revision (please see the roadmap and impact assessment).

Following on from LIFE’s earlier ICZM contributions in the Demonstration Programme, other LIFE projects have also generated essential ICZM experiences which boost our know-how about ICZM processes. For example, Sweden’s LIFE02 ENV/S/000355highlighted the productivity of an innovative ICZM strategy

for connecting forestry and nature conservation. In neighbouring Finland, LIFE00 ENV/FIN/000666 introduced ICZM concepts to a territory of more than 22 000 islands. Useful results were adopted by key socio-economic sectors in coastal areas such as agriculture, tourism and fishing.

Greece’s LIFE00 ENV/GR/000751 helped to anchor ICZM approaches within management systems of the Zakynthos National Marine Park. Success factors for this ICZM model included the efforts to work with different stakeholders that LIFE helped to co-finance. Results led to increased cooperation between interest groups who had previously been at odds with each other. Such outcomes offer good added value at an EU level from LIFE’s support since they provide useful ICZM tools that can be replicated elsewhere in Europe. This is especially relevant because participatory approaches sit at the heart of ICZM methodologies and all projects dealing with ICZM need to incorporate stakeholder involvement actions.

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