Risk-based frameworks in ICZM and MSP decision-making processes
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Original versionThis report is not to be quoted without prior consultation with the General Secretary.
The coastal zone is considered as the point of highest interaction between land-based activities and local marine ecosystems. In addition, the coastal zone is a significant contributor to the socioeconomic prosperity of local communities supporting a broad base of economic and cultural sectors. As a result, it is also the zone where aquatic ecosystems can be particularly vulnerable to pressures caused by human activities where management operates within a complex jurisdictional backdrop. An integrated management approach to both terrestrial and marine spatial planning aims at reducing conflicts while maintaining the productivity (in a broad sense) of aquatic ecosystems. Although fairly straightforward in the planning process, implementation and follow-up of such plans have proven to be challenging. Given the complexity of integrating ecosystem, social, cultural and economic demands within a defined geographical area, decision-making approaches using classical risk analysis can provide structure that facilitates and informs the planning and implementation processes. Such an approach also assists fact-based priority setting while adhering to principles of inclusiveness and transparency. This paper presents lessons learned and best practices from integrated coastal zone management projects and how these are converging towards a risk analysis approach and marine spatial planning.