To facilitate ICZM, we discern three types of arrangements which need attention.

Institutional arrangements


These take care of the co-ordination of management practises at the different levels (vertical integration) and sectors (horizontal integration) of public institutions. These institutes (ministries, research institutes, departments) might already exist in which case linkages between them must be created or strengthened. If they don’t, they have to be created

Horizontal vs. vertical

The direction of integration is time dependent: planning may start with the co-ordination of plans of several ministries and during evaluation involve vertical integration within each ministry. The opposite happened in the USA, where provisions for public involvement were extended throughout the planning and implementation proce

Roles and responsibilities
The role of institutions who take part in ICZM is threefold (UNEP95):

  • an executive role, for decision making,
  • a judicial role, for enacting regulations and directives, standards and procedure enforcement and arbitration, and
  • a marked role, allocating funds, offering incentives or subsidies.

At each level, specific responsibilities can be discerned. National administration should be concerned with development and implementation of broad coastal management policy, and designate a lead agency for coastal management at the national level (e.g. a ministry). The policy should be formulated in a basic plan which can be used to inform lower authorities about the intentions of the national government. Regional administration must, depending on its authority, make more detailed but integrated planning. They also have to co-ordinate the activities of local authorities. Local administration has detailed planning, development and implementation tasks.

Legal arrangements


The jurisdiction over the coastal zone is very complex. In many countries the sea bordering the land is under jurisdiction of a regional government. The zone between 12 and 200 nautical miles may be – and often is – claimed as an Exclusive Economical Zone (EZZ) since the Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 was enforced. The land bordering the sea is under jurisdiction of the local government, though the sea defence might be under jurisdiction of an institute who is responsible for safety against flooding (e.g., a water board). Further, some countries allow people to have private ownership of the beach, and nature conservation institutes might own large nature areas in the coastal zone, either in the sea, the land or both.

This is the situation in which ICZM must operate. The ICZM program must apply to the whole geographical area which is involved in the issues at hand, irrespectively of legislative aspects. Thus, the area to which the program will apply, will cross legislative boundaries anyhow, even international ones, if necessary. The ICZM program must therefore be carefully designed. It must comply with the need to have legal authority to regulate activities on the land and in the sea. In some cases such an authority already exists; it needs not be replaced, but be incorporated in the ICZM process somewhere in the future.

Financial Arrangements


The amount of funding necessary will vary during the several stages and vary according to the specific setting of a region.
If necessary institutions exist, having staff from appropriate disciplines and experience, and much information (for the coastal profile) is already available, large sums of funding are not required during the Initiation and Planning stages. The mentioned staff could be delegated to an ICZM office leaving a few selected positions open for funding. The funding of these might be received from the national government or from international agencies. 

However, if people must be trained and / or hired, or institutions have to be set up, the budget needs to be increased. This particularly applies if during the implementation stage large projects are started in the coastal zone.
Fortunately, since the Earth Summit in 1992, international agencies and donors are increasingly willing to fund ICZM related activities. One of the reasons is that international agreements now state that any activity in coastal zones on a national level should be carried out within the framework of ICZM. Funds could be given by the WorldBank, a regional development bank, the Global Environment Facility and international aid agencies in several countries. 

Also the European Union provides funding for a ICZM related projects. Have a look for more information.

Case studies: Institutioal arrangements for implementing the ICZM in Romania

The Romanian Government made an inventory of the treats  and stresses to which the coastal area is currently  and will be I the future exposed. Creating a legal basis for ICZM was the first step to address the challenges of unsustainable use of the coastal resources, the increase in population in the coastal zone area and the envisaged long term impact of global climate change. Nevertheless, the need for progress in coastal management in Romania has also increased due to human pressure on the natural resources and its rich and diverse but vulnerable terrestrial and marine ecosystem.

In 2003 as an initial response to the EU ICZM Recomandation, the Romanian government, through its institutions initiated and put into practice the ICZM Law which among other issues stipulates the task and the responsabilities of the relevant central and local authorities and institutions as well as clarifying the aims of the need for the required process. Additional amendments were developed (e.g. incorporating  integrated spatial planning of the terrestrial and marine parts of the coastal zone as a legal binding mechanism, regulations on improving exchanges of the coastal and marine data and dissimination of the information to coastal stakeholders as well as the structural settings for the functioning of the high level national ICZM Committee).

Institutional scheme for ICZM in Romania

As a consequence of the ICZM law , the national ICZM Committee was established in June 2004 by the governmental Decree, representing about 50 institutions. Under the national committee, working groups were formed consisting of key experts from relevant authorities and research institutions who could provide expert advice and guidance  on specific topics. The development of the national ICZM Strategy was based on the assessment of the current state of the Romanian coastal zone as well as of the legal political and administrative structure and institutions that have an influence on the  conditional framework for taking actions in the coastal zone.


Belek Coastal Zone Management Program, Turkey

Belek management plan is the cooperative study of Association for the Protection of Natural Life and World Wide Fund for Nature. World Bank has supported the project within the frame of Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP). European Union is another organization which supported the studies. Ministry of Tourism and Union of Belek Tourism Investors (BETUYAB) have contributed the preparation of the plan. The plan which was made in the period of January 1995 –November 1996 was based on integrated coastal zone management. Studies were supported by the central authority, local and volunteer organizations, but the participation of private sector of the relevant activities and public could not been achieved.  Belek plan had also envisaged preparation of an activity plan for the first five years. And roles of institutions and organization were defined for each activity. A system for monitoring future changes in environmental, social and economic fields was also in the plan. The plan for Belek includes; master construction planning, activities for tourism, utilization of coasts and forests, water quality, urban development, diversification of tourism and economical activities,  providing participation to the efforts of development of local people,  providing training and consensus, institutional arrangements and sanctions to be applied. Another matter in the plan is the establishment of a local organization to provide cooperation between the institutions, infrastructure investments and actualizing the plan. Duru, 2003).

Example: a complicated area

Map of the waddensea conservation areaAn example of an ICZM program in an area crossing several borders is the Wadden Sea project. The project contains land and sea from three countries, and in each country several provinces and many communities are affected. The Trilateral Governmental Conferences which are held every 3 – 4 years, are the highest decision making body in the framework of the collaboration. In the periods between the Governmental Conferences, the Trilateral Working Group (TWG), as a permanent working group meets, on average, 4 or 3 times a year. The TWG is composed of civil servants of the responsible ministries and other relevant ministries as well as regional 

Case Study: Cost benefit analysis can positively influence policies and plans, the Danube Islands (Bulgaria)

The Danube River comprises many important natural areas, including the Danube delta and 75 Bulgarian Danube islands. All of the islands, with the exception of Belene Island, are state-owned and managed by the National Forestry Board. The predominant land use of the Danube islands is for poplar monoculture. The natural floodplain forests of the islands have been continuously converted into poplar plantations over recent decades, resulting in the large-scale loss of globally important biodiversity.

ICZM tools
A cost-benefit analysis of alternative land use options for the various stakeholders in the Danube islands focusing, in particular, on the potential socio-economic benefits from the restoration and protection of healthy floodplain ecosystems was conducted. The aim was to define the dimensions of a reasonable economic compromise for the state, based on a forecast of profits from poplar, and estimated loss of income for the state from different protection and restoration options. Possibilities for mitigation of economic losses, economic alternatives, as well as environmental and social benefits from protection and restoration measures were calculated. In order to undertake the analysis, it was necessary to identify a set of alternative land use options, describe the range of stakeholders, and quantify the impacts of each land use option on each stakeholder group. The outcome of the analysis of alternative land use options for the different stakeholders was used to identify economically feasible and environmentally sound alternatives to poplar plantations and provide recommendations for the development of these alternatives. Conserving biodiversity of the Bulgarian Danube islands, on the other hand, would be a source of significant benefits for a wider range of stakeholders. This is especially so for local communities through tourism; small scale resource harvesting; recreation; the flood protection functions of floodplain forests; preservation of genetic biodiversity.

(Source: Ourcoast, 2011)