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Montenegro Adopts the First National ICZM Strategy

Monday, 20 July 2015
The Government of Montenegro adopted on 25th June 2015 the first National Strategy on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), in implementation of Arts. 5(a) and 18 of the ICZM Protocol. The adoption of the Strategy was the final result of the most successful process jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro and PAP/RAC*, in the framework of MedPartnership project**.

Preparation of the ICZM Strategy for Montenegro was undertaken in parallel with the preparation of the Coastal Area Spatial Plan, the most important planning document for the coastal areas in Montenegro. Montenegro launched its Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP) in 2011. The CAMP Montenegro project is based on an integrated approach to marine, coastal and river basin environment and development problems. This emphasizes that project activities will cut across protection and development problems, harmonize public sector priorities and private sector pressures, and provide an integrated strategy for the common goal of achieving development in the region within a sustainable management policy framework.

The main goals of the CAMP Montenegro are: a) to create necessary mechanisms that can help achieve sustainable development of the coastal area; b) to support implementation of national policies and of the ICZM Protocol; c) to promote an integrated and participatory planning and management in the coastal area; d) to build national and local capacities for ICZM and raise awareness of the importance of the coastal area, complexity and fragility of its ecosystems and of the need for integrated approaches in managing them; and e) to facilitate the transfer of knowledge of ICZM tools and approaches.

The importance of the CAMP programme lies furthermore in the provision of professional and technical support for the integration of the instruments for integrated coastal zone management of Montenegro into the Coastal Area Spatial Plan (CASP). Therefore, the process and the results of the Strategy were largely directed towards preparing specific recommendations for the Spatial Plan.

In particular, the Strategy:
− Developed criteria and guidelines to determine land uses in the Coastal Area Spatial Plan so as to direct construction to the least vulnerable areas. They included the introduction of a coastal setback zone and preservation of valuable inland areas suitable for rural development.
− Proposed key instruments to enable implementation of the above criteria and to guide changes in the desired direction. They include land-use and fiscal policy instruments, as well as those for monitoring and evaluating progress.
− Proposed an appropriate coordination mechanism to improve integration and convergence of sectoral management, with the overall responsibility for the coastal zone development.

With strong political support and commitment, these findings and the overall participatory process of the Strategy preparation resulted with:
− construction areas reduced by 44%;
− construction areas within one kilometre of the coastline reduced by 16%;
− introduced 100-meter coastal setback, applicable to almost 50% of the coastline; and
− initiated establishment of an ICZM coordination mechanism.

*PAP/RAC's aim is to address immediate problems of a developmental nature and their effects on the coastal environment and its resources, through practical activities in several fields. The intention is to induce swift results through the use of sound environmental management practices. Importantly, coastal zones comprise not only their marine and terrestrial parts but also their adjacent river basins. The principal activity of PAP/RAC is Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Mediterranean. ICZM is recognized as the way forward for the sustainable development of coastal zones since the 1992 Rio Conference (the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) and is characterized by a distinctive integrated approach to providing solutions to the complex environmental, social, economic and institutional problems of the coastal zones.
**The UNEP/MAP GEF Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Large Marine Ecosystem (MedPartnership) is the largest joint initiative in history in the Mediterranean. This Partnership aims to reverse the degradation trends affecting the Mediterranean’s unique large marine ecosystem, including its coastal habitats and biodiversity (UNEP/MAP, 2010). Within this project, some of the biggest organizations working in the field of sustainable development in the Mediterranean, including UNEP/MAP, GEF/World Bank, EU, together with all partner countries, joined forces and, through a co-ordinated and strategic approach, are striving to catalyze the policy, legal and institutional reforms along with investments.

Source: Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC)
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