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Imagine yourself living in a coastal area, and year-by-year you see activities increasing: more tourists are visiting, the city and the harbour are growing, and agricultural practices cause high nitrates loads in the water. You notice pollution of land and water increases, nature deteriorates, and the archaeological sites are being neglected. You decide to form an action group of concerned citizens and want to tell the government that they should make a plan to develop the area in a more sustainable manner.

The ICZM-process, as illustrated in figure 1-1, has the following management steps:

From the planning phase follow the technical and institutional measures to be implemented in an agreed time schedule. These measures should address the short-term coastal problems, and challenges and respond in an adaptive way to the anticipated long-term effects of global changes (such as climate change).

The implementation phase is followed by monitoring and evaluation of the state and functioning of both the coastal zone system components interactions and the related technical and institutional developments. This may in turn lead to the identification of problems (triggers), leading to the initiative to start a new cycle in the ICZM process.

Although the steps of management are presented sequential, a constant feedback is essential, including re-formulation of problems, adjusted planning, changes in implementation, etc. The result is an iterative, cyclic process. In time, its emphasis shifts slowly from problem recognition towards evaluation.


What are the first questions that should be answered when you / your government start making a plan?


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