Re-visiting ICM theory and practice: Lessons learned from the Baltic Sea Region

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Sustainable management of coastal systems requires an iterative process using a multidisciplinary approach that integrates the three pillars of sustainable development: envir nmental protection, social progress and economic growth. The Systems Approach Framework (SAF) provides a structure for an
Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) process with an effective science-policy interface that embraces the challenge of simulating complex systems and encapsulates citizen involvement from the onset. We analysed the findings of 16 re-analyses studies undertaken in eight Baltic Sea countries to test how well
SAF elements had been applied in practice within ICM processes. The results revealed the main ICM driver was ecology or economy. Several ICM elements as defined by the SAF are already standard within the Baltic Sea region. However, in many cases, the omission of stakeholder and institutional mapping as
instructed by the SAF led to an unbalanced participation of stakeholders, or in some cases, lack of involvement of stakeholders at the start of the process. Most of the ICM processes failed to include an integrated, cross-sectorial, ecological-socio-economic assessment. This extends from the lack of system
thinking when defining the Policy Issue for the problem and when developing the conceptual model, which often leads to one-sectorial solutions, which may not be sustainable. Furthermore, the duration of some of the ICM processes was prolonged due to disagreement and opposition early in the process and/
or lack of manager experiences in conducting a stakeholder participatory process. Finally, due to its stringent structure the SAF was found to be a suitable quality assurance for sustainable ICM processes
Original languageEnglish
JournalOcean & Coastal Management
Volume139
Pages (from-to)64-76
ISSN0964-5691
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
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