The Solent Forum

Working in parnership for the future

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is the process which seeks to integrate the different policies and actions that have an effect on the coast, and bring stakeholders together to inform, support and implement these policies and actions in a coordinated and transparent way.

Defra intend that the principles of ICZM will be embedded throughout any of the relevant proposals in the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009.

European Perspective

In 2002, the European Parliament and Council adopted a Recommendation on implementing ICZM in Europe.  Member states were asked to develop national strategies based on the 8 key principles set out below.  

1. A broad holistic perspective (thematic and geographic);
2. A long-term perspective;
3. Adaptive management;
4. Local specificity;
5. Working with natural processes and respecting the carrying capacity of ecosystems;
6. Participatory planning;
7. Support and involvement of relevant administrative bodies; and
8. Use of a combination of instruments.

On 7 June 2007, the EU adopted a Commission Communication on Integrated Coastal Zone Management following the evaluation of the EU ICZM Recommendation.

National Perspective

The EU Recommendation asked Member States to undertake a national stocktaking of legislation, institutions and stakeholders involved in the management of the coastal zone and, based on this, to develop national strategies to deliver ICZM. In 2003, Defra and the devolved administrations joined together to commission the stock-taking for the UK.

Following the UK Stocktake, the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations prepared separate draft national strategies on either ICZM or more generally on marine and coastal management. A consultation was issued seeking views on how best to promote and implement an integrated approach to the management of the coastal zone (ICZM) in England.  This was published in 2006. The responses to this consultation helped  to finalise the ICZM Strategy for England, and fed into the development of proposals for the Marine and Coastal Access Bill. 

In 2008, Defra published its final ICZM strategy 'A Strategy for Promoting an Integrated Approach to the Management of Coastal Areas in England'.  This sets out the Government’s vision for coastal management, objectives and future actions to achieve the vision, and briefly explains how all the changes currently being taken forward will work together in coastal areas. 

The principles of ICZM are embedded throughout relevant proposals in the Marine and Coastal Access Act. The Act offers a real opportunity to join up marine management with existing arrangements on land. Marine planning will offer new opportunities for coastal regulators and communities to have a say in the way the marine environment is managed, and conversely for marine management to give proper consideration to land planning. ICZM will be incorporated at every stage of the development of the marine planning system.

Solent Perspective

At the local level, a number of coastal forums, groups and partnerships have developed to both resolve specific issues of concern and to bring together the variety of stakeholders in the coastal zone to promote a sustainable approach to the planning, management and use of the area. The exact remits of the groups vary but almost all initiatives possess a common purpose of promoting a more integrated approach to local coastal management by: facilitating cooperation and resolving conflicts; raising awareness and understanding; and collecting and distributing information.

The Solent is home to over one million people and is intensively used for both recreation and commerce. It is also highly designated with the majority of the coastline being internationally recognised as being important for nature conservation. Over time these sectoral interests have developed plans and strategies for the management of the coast. There are now over 100 management plans which cover all or part of the Solent and address issues such as nature conservation, coastal defence, water management and emergency planning.

The Solent Forum was established in 1992 in order to develop a greater understanding among the authorities and agencies involved in the planning and management of the Solent, and to assist and influence them in carrying out their functions. It seeks to develop the principles of ICZM by building partnerships, co-ordinting plans and strategies and sharing information for the common good.

The Solent Forum seeks to enourage the regular exchange of information, experience and debate across UK coastal partnerships.