Policy Options: Message in a bottle
World Coast Conference'93: Agenda for Action

The World Coast Conference 1993, which was held from 1-5 November 1993 in the Netherlands, examined actions to strengthen capabilities for progressive sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). Participants at the Conference from more than 90 nations, 19 international organizations and 23 NGOs discussed actions for coastal States to undertake ICZM toward the year 2000. The Conference Statement and the Conference Report noted the following:

  • There is an urgent need for coastal States to strengthen their capabilities for ICZM, working towards the development of appropriate strategies and programmes by the year 2000.
  • ICZM is the most appropriate process to anticipate and respond to long-term concerns and needs while addressing present day challenges and opportunities.
  • ICZM involves the comprehensive assessment, setting of objectives, planning and management of coastal systems and resources, taking into account traditional, cultural and historical perspectives and conflicting interests and uses; it is a continuous and evolutionary process for achieving sustainable development.
  • Coastal States that are in the process of defining and implementing a national programme for ICZM have encountered obstacles that constrain the effective development of national programmes. These include: limited understanding and experience in ICZM; limited understanding of coastal and marine resources; fragmented institutional arrangements; single-sector oriented bureaucracies; competing interests and lack of priorities; inadequate legislation and/or lack of enforcement; land-tenure regimes and other social factors; and lack of information and resources.
  • Coastal States are urged to identify their priorities for ICZM, to identify their most pressing needs to improve their capabilities for ICZM, to undertake national measures to increase their capabilities, and to identify their special needs for assistance.
  • Effective ICZM can be achieved by coordination between national, regional and international organizations and institutions. This will help to avoid unnecessary duplication and to develop the concepts, tools and networks needed to facilitate the development and implementation of national programmes. Support for ICZM capacity building could be in the following areas: information; education and training; concepts and tools; research, monitoring and evaluation; and funding.

Agenda for Action

  • Raise awareness:
    Educate policy makers and decision makers about the urgency and the benefits of ICZM.

  • Define the process:
    Clarify the process of ICZM and its elements, and identify the obstacles to its progress.

  • Strengthen the national responses:
    Identify coastal states' priorities for ICZM, improve their capabilities, and start implementing ICZM programmes.

  • Strengthen the international responses:
    Strenghten international support for ICZM capacity building, including financial support for programme development, particularly in developing countries. This can be achieved through global, regional or blateral cooperation to assist and support national initiatives. Activities should include the organization of networks and clearinghouses to exchange and share ICZM knowledge, experiences, concepts, tools, education and training, and research programmes.

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