Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

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ICZM is a process to promote security of life and livelihood of coastal communities, protect coastal ecosystems and to promote sustainable development

The coast is a highly vulnerable zone and is affected by climate change and sea level rise, conflict for space and resources, development pressure on sensitive coastal ecosystems.

Integrated coastal zone management acknowledges interrelationships among coastal and ocean uses and the environment they potentially affect to overcomes fragmentation in single sector management approach, jurisdictional splits in the land-water interface. ICZM works within the constraints of limited space for competing resources and provides a mechanism and tools that allow development activities underscored by the precautionary principle, thus ensuring rational resource allocation and conservation of ecosystems by incorporatingenvironmental and social concerns in the developmental activities

ICZM Plan for selected stretch of West Bengal

Digha-Sankarpur coast and Sagar island

The coast of West Bengal is a complex, dynamic and resource-rich system, with an interplay of one of the largest rivers in India. the Ganges and the Sundarban delta. The three coastal districts – South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and purbaMedinipur – with varied coastal ecology, livelihoods and coastal development, present multiple challenges to policy planners and development authorities in terms of sustainable coastal management. Considering the fragile nature of our coastal systems, any development strategy in these areas has to balance the socio-economic aspirations of coastal communities with the sustainability imperatives of the environment. Any threat to coastal stability and sustainability from unplanned and indiscrete economic development will eventually affect the coastal populations adversely, especially their livelihoods.

This Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan as a study and planning initiative under the World Bank-assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Project, has been prepared for two coastal stretches of West Bengal: Digha-Sankarpur inPurba Medinipur district and Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas district.The ICZM plan is based on a coastal sediment cell approach, which was used to define the boundary Of the ICZM Plan area. Along the coast of West Bengal, two primary cells were identified: i) extending from south of Subarnarekha River (in Odisha) to South OfRasulpur River (West Bengal) – Primary Cell NO. 24 and ii) from South of Rasulpur River to Matla River – Primary Cell NO. 25, within the State boundary of West Bengal. Sagar Island falls within pc 25.

The planintegrates complex coastal features, eco-system integrity, development needs of coastal communities, economic potential of the coastal areas, community resource dependence and multi-sectoral governance schemes and mechanisms. The Plan suggests a template of development interventions consistent with promoting coastal sustainability and is intended as a planning tool for development bodies and administrators in coastal areas. This ICZM Plan recommends a shelf of environmentally-sustainable development schemes/ projects which are in line with the country’s coastal laws, rules and regulations and is expected to help development authorities and administrators in West Bengal’s coastal areas in designing suitable interventions for economic development. The Plan covers: ensuring physical safety of the coastal areas (including disaster management), conserving bio-diversity, marine spatial planning, supporting livelihoods, water conservation and waste management.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Preparing an ICZM Plan

  • Inception Phase
  • Coastal Profiling & State of the Coast Reporting
  • Visioning & Strategic Planning
  • Planning and Integration
  • Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation

The framework covers a complete cycle of information collection, decision-making and preparing an integrated plan of action followed by implementation and adaptive management.

Issues are identified and prioritized; issue based sub-management plans are developed. These are integrated to ensure no gaps or overlaps.

The whole process is grounded in sustainable development concepts

Figure : A Five – Step Process