Financial resources are important for the success of ICZM. The citizens as taxpayers contribute significantly to the investment in ICZM projects. Taxpayers must be considered as equal partners and have the right to be consulted when taking important decisions or making major plans.
Giving the public an opportunity to influence government decisions from the outset also defuses opposition to particular government actions and builds broad-based consensus for environmental programs as a whole. If the public is involved in the full decision making process, their concerns may be met early on in the planning process when changes may be easier to make, rather than late in the process when even small changes may cost both time and money. In addition, by being involved in the full decision making process, the public is exposed to the multiple factors involved in each decision. Even if the public does not agree with the final decision, they are more likely to understand why the decision was made and thus may not oppose it. Thus, even though allowing for public input into an environmental decision may delay the decision making process in the short term, it can save valuable time and money in the long run by avoiding lengthy and divisive disputes after the decision is made (Magdolna et al., 1994).
Example: Exe estuary, United Kingdom
Without the full participation of local stakeholders, coastal management strategies will never succeed. If people do not feel involved in decisions that affect their region, they can come to resent policy-makers and reject plans to improve coastal zones.
In 1993, for example, local residents rejected a management plan for the Exe estuary in the United Kingdom drawn up by a firm of consultants. The residents complained that the consultants had not asked them for their views on certain questions, particularly on issues related to charging estuary users for the provision of harbour services. This led policy-makers to rethink their whole strategy for the estuary and a series of local topic groups made up of local residents was set up. Following a broad consultation process, which included numerous local meetings, a new strategy for the region has been drawn up that everybody seems happy with. The residents still meet regularly to discuss local problems and have set up the Exe Estuary Forum to coordinate efforts to improve life in their coastal region.(EU focus on coastal zones)