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The implementation of ICZM in a region usually requires a number of stages. In this learner we discern the following stages: Initiation, Planning, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation. Each consists of a number of tasks which are part of that stage. However, the precise definition of what should be done during which stage, or even how many stages exist, is not a fixed truth. The focus will be different in each case, as it will have particular physical, social, economical, cultural and/or political backgrounds. However, we believe that the description that will follow in the next sections will be useful for starting and understanding ICZM in your region as many aspects are discussed and can be used to tailor a program to your region.

A Croatian Case: Kastela Bay

While introducing you to the practicalities of ICZM, we'll describe a real world case as an illustration of the dull texts. This real world case "Kastela Bay" is situated in South-East Europe, Croatia.

It is the largest bay of the central coast of Croatia. It represents an economic and territorial unity around Split, the second largest city of the country. In the mid eighties, this area became one of the largest and most widely known pollution “hot spot” areas in the Mediterranean region. In less than four decades, the area turned from a pristine area of high tourist potential into an area with highly degraded natural ecosystems.

The Scheme

As illustrated in the graph below (and in the CoastLearn logo!) these stages must be considered as an iterative and circular approach. Iterative because during any stage it may become clear that the former stage was not done properly. Circular because during the ICZM process improves the understanding of the Coastal System and new development opportunities and threats will come into being. These will have to be addressed through all four stages again. Such a new cycle might be a 'project" handled within the existing ICZM process, or a "policy" if the scope of the existing ICZM program must change, or anything between.


Kastela Bay from the mountain of Kozjak.

Program, policy or project?

In this learner, we will talk about an ICZM program. Terms which you will find in other information sources are: plan, programme, project, policy and strategy. In our opinion, these terms reflect the focus ICZM has in the situation of the person or institute who uses the word. We consider the word "program" as a more or less neutral word. A "plan" or "project" refers to a specific site with a specific problem, whereas "policy" refers to general management problems. In the next sections, you could replace all occurrences of the word program with any other.

What happened

Development of the past 4 decades of this area was based on the practice of exploiting the natural resources as being of unlimited capacity. This led to fast industrialization and urbanization without development of appropriate urban infrastructure, in particular waste water treatment. Waste waters were disposed untreated into the sea and only 25% of the population of the 3 towns was served by a sewerage system, resulting in numerous ecological problems and social conflicts.

Location of the Kastela Bay, Croatia