ICZM Process: A Roadmap towards Coastal Sustainability

 / Research / In-House /KGP/ ICZM Plan Preparation Guidance Document and Training Materials

ICZM is a planning and coordinating process, where the primary purpose is to bring together various concerned agencies to work towards common objective [s]. ICZM provides a larger perspective for development-related activities as well as conservation of coastal ecosystems. The coast is also a highly vulnerable area especially with reference to impacts of climate change and sea level rise. There is also conflict for space and resources.

Working within the constraints of limited space for competing resources, ICZM can help by providing a mechanism along with tools that allow development activities underscored by the precautionary principle while ensuring rational resource allocation and conservation of ecosystems. It also ensures incorporation of environmental and social concerns in the developmental activities.

The process of preparing an ICZM plan is discussed (Fig. l) under the following five phases:

  • Phase I Inception
  • Phase II Coastal Profiling
  • Phase III Visioning and Strategy Formulation
  • Phase IV Planning and Integration
  • Phase V Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation

Capacity building is built into each phase and would vary depending on the stakeholder and the task to be performed. Similarly, various tools are available that can be used in supporting the different tasks in the preparation of the ICZM Plan.

Figure : ICZM framework

The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) has developed a detailed methodology for preparation of the ICZM Plans, based on a five-phased approach as given in the above figure. As given in the framework the first four phases focuses on development of the management sub-plans and the ICZM plan while Phase V deals with implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Each of the five phases has specific purpose and tasks to be completed sequentially. Issues/themes identified in the plan area will converge as management sub-plans. Each sub-plan will comprise of various activities with interlinkages to other sub-plans. These sub-plans are integrated so as to harmonise and optimise the use of resources (both financial and human) while minimising potential adverse impacts due to one plan activity on another.

For ease of implementation, activities/ projects may be assigned to sectoral (line) departments in consultation with the stakeholders. The outcome of such a series of activities is an integrated coastal zone management plan for the designated plan area.