An example of an organisation structure for an ICZM process is the structure used in the project "Sustainable development of the Scheldt Estuary: Building an integral long-term vision for the Scheldt Estuary".
The Scheldt Estuary lies on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. With its four major ports it is an important economic focal point and it is a fully tidal estuary on the North Sea, supporting precious habitats.
To facilitate policy
planning in the Scheldt Estuary, integrating the various needs and demands of
stakeholders, the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of
the Netherlands and its Flemish counterpart decided to develop an integral long-term
vision on the estuary in 2030. The vision should be a guideline to policy makers
in both countries. Vision development on the scale of an estuary is a relatively
new planning approach. The vision is developed over a two-year period from a
carefully created common understanding of the present and near future.
The vision is built by bilateral officials representing the three perspectives most crucial to the estuary and its users: navigation, safety and environment. Most important result so far is that the parties involved constructively work together on the vision to make it a joint basis for future policy planning.
& institutional arrangements: building a broad basis for the vision
Stakeholder participation is recognised as crucial in the development of the vision. Participation and institutional arrangements are carefully designed to optimise the input from stakeholder representatives. This design is reflected in the project organisation.
The project organisation firstly aims to develop a basis for the vision within the relevant government agencies in Belgium and the Netherlands. In addition open communication with representatives of the local and national government and other stakeholders is essential. It was therefore decided to distinguish between four major levels of participation in the development of the vision:
The co-operation within each level is facilitated by a consultant. Officials chair the working groups. Communication between the levels is ensured by the regular exchange of information.
A detailed work schedule describes the inputs and actions of all parties involved. The authorisation of the vision process is ensured by the approval of provisional reports by the bilateral Technical Scheldt Commission (TSC). This commission consists of the high officials of the administrations that deal with Scheldt issues in both countries. It advises on the technical management of the Scheldt and was made accountable for the development of the vision by the responsible ministers of the Netherlands and Belgium.
The provisional reports are prepared within the working groups of expert officials, that also advice the TSC. International scientists and communication experts support the working groups. Prior to their approval provisional reports are discussed with the bilateral steering group of high officials and shared with the local government and other stakeholders. In the Scheldt Estuary important stakeholders for consultation are the Governmental Confer Western Scheldt (BOWS) and the Flemish Integral Water Committee (VIWC) that represent regional and local governments in both countries. Figure 1 illustrates the project organisation and its responsibility.