ICZM in the Mediterranean: The Mediterranean ICZM Protocol




In January 2008, the Signatories of the Barcelona Convention signed the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean. This is the seventh Protocol of the Barcelona Convention and the decision to approve the draft text and recommend its signing was taken at the 15th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties held in Almeria in January 2008. 

All of the parties agreed that this document was a crucial step forward for the Mediterranean Action Plan. This Protocol is a unique legal instrument in the international community which allows the countries on the shoreline of the Mediterranean to improve the management of their coastal zones and to meet new challenges which arise.

Today, the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management has been signed by 15 countries and ratified by four, among them Spain. 

It is a regulatory document in the following seven parts: 

             - PART I: GENERAL PROVISIONS.


Which gives an integrated vision of the coast, as well as an ecosystemic vision, and establishes that public participation and institutional coordination are to be fundamental pillars. This Part, then, defines the objectives, geographical coverage and the definition and principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

 
- PART II: ELEMENTS OF ICZM. 


This Part describes the physical and socio-economic elements of ICZM and the obligations undertaken with respect to each one. Public participation is highlighted as a key element of ICZM and the different stakeholders to be involved in the decision-making process are defined.
 

- PART III: INSTRUMENTS OF ICZM.
 

Existing instruments which could be used for the implementation of ICZM are defined.
 

- PART IV: RISKS AFFECTING COASTAL ZONES.


This Part describes processes such as erosion and climate change, recognising them as risk factors and, therefore, calling for the development of policies or instruments to prevent them. 
 

- PART V: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION.
   

Promoting cooperation between countries in questions such as training and research, scientific and technical assistance, the exchange of information, transboundary cooperation and transboundary environmental assessment. 
 

- PARTS VI and VII: INSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS AND FINAL PROVISIONS.


On institutional aspects for the implementation and adoption of the Protocol.