Guidelines for Integrated Management of Coastal and Marine Areas: With Special Reference to the Mediterranean Basin - UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 161

United Nations Environment programme

This document is intended to provide, within the context of the Barcelona Convention, general guidelines for national policy-makers, managers and professionals involved in the development and implementation of integrated coastal and marine areas management (ICAM) programmes aiming at achieving sustainable development of coastal and marine areas, including exclusive economic zones; and to assist in development of national guidelines for integrated coastal area management and development, and thus, contribute to the implementation of principles and recommendations adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 1992). The guidelines contained in this document are based primarily on the experience of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, with special regard for the developing countries of the Mediterranean basin. However, it is believed that, if adapted to locally relevant conditions, they are applicable, with some adjustments, in some other parts of the world, such as the Black Sea, Eastern Africa, the Caribbean, etc. Moreover, the general principles provided in the guidelines and, in particular, those referring to the ICAM process phases, may be considered applicable world wide. The presented guidelines are not a rigid set of prescribed steps and procedures. Rather, they represent a flexible approach consisting of alternative options serving the same goal. The choice and application of the most suitable option in a given situation will depend on the size, nature and actual circumstances of the area planned to be covered by the ICAM programme. The document is not an exhaustive manual covering all aspects and details encountered in the ICAM process. Annex I provides definitions of the most important terms used in the document and, in addition, the reader seeking further clarification is advised to consult the publications listed in the bibliography.

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