Integrated Coastal Management: a Comparative Analysis of four UK Initiatives

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The effectiveness of institutional arrangements and policies for governance has become a key question within the sustainability paradigm, not least in coastal areas which have unique issues and jurisdictions across the land–sea interface. In the UK, approximately 60 non-statutory coastal management initiatives have been established at the local/regional level since the 1990s, based on a variety of programmes and projects. Proposals for a UK Marine Bill have raised questions about the role of non-statutory initiatives in the system of governance. The traditional sectoral approach to management and planning is being modified due to the pressure of increased human activities, but doubts exist about what effective contribution local and regional partnerships can make. The paper reports extensive examples of Integrated Coastal Management initiatives engaging institutions and society to produce outputs which have transformed management, promoting long-term, collaborative, participatory and ecologically sustainable approaches. The paper concludes that there are demonstrable benefits in taking a partnership approach to coastal management at a local level, yet these forms of planning and management are not widely accepted or embedded within the current system of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-62
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • UK
  • Regional
  • Enviornmental management
  • Partnerships
  • ICZM


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