During a meeting in Split, Croatia, in summer 2000, 18 governmental representatives of the Baltic, Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas made a call for a distance vocational training tool to communicate ICZM information, experience, and ideas on a longer term basis. EUCC - The Coastal Union took responsibility for this request and the Leonardo Da Vinci funded pilot project “CoastLearn” began. Ever since then, the CoastLearn partnership and the CoastLearn programme have been growing under the leadership of the EUCC.
ICZM is not a widespread concept in countries in transition, which are CoastLearn primary target. It therefore aims to make the basic ICZM concepts and its benefits understandable to coastal managers and policy makers.
Coastlearn makes an original contribution to existing European and international vocational training systems and practices. Other ICM training courses are expensive, very much tailored to western European and US situations and problems and in most cases they are part of an academic education programme. CoastLearn became the first widely available course free of charge. It remains as the only distance training tool which allows fully independent use with no registration and freedom to choose the level, time and pace.