Mepielan Ebulletin

AFD/Plan Bleu Workshop on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean

Tuesday, 20 October 2015
On September 24th 2015, a brainstorming and knowledge-sharing regional workshop on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) was held in Antibes Juan-les-Pins under the auspices of a partnership between Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Plan Bleu. The workshop, which featured agencies and organizations from across Europe and the Mediterranean, was convened with a view to elaborating and defining the objectives of the aforementioned partnership vis-à-vis ICZM. It particularly focused on (i) the integration of social and environmental issues into the coastal zone management processes, and (ii) the operationalization of strategic recommendations proposed in the framework of a balanced and integrated coastal areas development.

The event revolved around four specialized thematic workshops, each dealing with a different set of challenges arising from the implementation of ICZM in the Mediterranean region. The first workshop focused on the ever-increasing pressures facing coastal areas due to extreme meteorological events associated with climate change. As illustrated by this thematic workshop, the main implementation challenges, in this context, are related to the improvement of the adaptation capacity of coastal areas and in particular the capacity of all relevant stakeholders involved in the management of the climate change effects.

The second thematic workshop dealt with  the ratification  of the ICZM Protocol. Ever since the adoption of the relevant Mediterranean Protocol, ICZM has been evolving from an abstract concept to a set of tangible actions through the effective implementation of concrete tools. This workshop attempted to identify these tools and determine whether they adequately and effectively cover all aspects of ICZM.
The theme of the third workshop was concerned with the sustainable management of biodiversity in light of the new challenges posed by invasive alien species, coastal overcrowding, and the overuse and subsequent loss of natural resources. In this context, the emphasis of the discussion was placed on evaluating the main management approaches and principles that are currently available in the Mediterranean. These principles included the principle of naturalness that invites the community to leave ecosystems to their "natural" evolution and the principle of active intervention, which aims to control the evolutionary trajectories of ecosystems and to manage them to maintain or enhance biodiversity by developing restoration and ecological engineering programs.

The fourth and final thematic workshop focused on the building of a new coastal conservation model through improved governance structures, partnerships and co-management. Coastal areas are vulnerable territories, hosting a number of different stakeholders with divergent issues and visions, which are often antagonistic to sustainable development imperatives. This workshop attempted to identify the particular skills, resources, means and know-how required for achieving the collective and sustainable management of coastal areas.

It is worth mentioning that the AFD/Plan Bleu event coincided with the celebration of several symbolic anniversaries, including the 50th anniversary of the National Trust’s Neptune Programme, the 40th Anniversary of the Conservatoire du Littoral, the 40th Anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP), the 30th Anniversary of the Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC), the 20th Anniversary of APAL (National Agency for Coastal Protection), the 20th Anniversary of FGEF and the 10th Anniversary of the PIM Initiative.

The organization of the AFD/Plan Bleu workshop also fitted into the Antibes Coastal Meetings and the Mediterranean Coast Day that were also held in Antibes by PAP/RAC. These meetings culminated in the development and adoption of the Antibes Declaration, which reflects the commitment of the participating agencies and of the countries bordering the Mediterranean to protect the coastal areas. The Declaration will be brought to the attention of the United Nations Climate Change Conference during the UNFCC COP21, to be held in Paris in December. With regard to ICZM, the signatories committed to “[fulfilling] the commitments taken within regional or international agreements, and lean on juridical tools and practices implemented on our coastal territories (Mediterranean Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol, European Directives such as those dedicated to Habitats and Birds, coastal laws and strategies), while paying attention to their good implementation, to ensure a sustainable conservation and an exemplary management of our coasts, notably by a land-control policy”.

Source: Plan Bleu, PAP/RAC
For further information:

Please subscribe to receive updates
Name: Email: