Journal of Coastal Conservation Planning and Management, Vol. 14, Issue 4, pp. 249-255, 2010
Copyright (
Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 201010.1007/s11852-010-0116-1)



Advances in Integrated Coastal Management for the Mediterranean & Black Sea


Vittorio Barale  and Erdal Özhan2


(1) Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy

(2) Mediterranean Coastal Foundation (The MEDCOAST Foundation), Dalyan, Turkey





The present Special Issue on “Advances in Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) for the Mediterranean and Black Sea” originates from the 2nd International Conference / Workshop on the State-of-the-Art of ICM in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: Immediate Needs for Research, Education/Training and Implementation (MED & Black Sea ICM 08), which was held on 14–18 October 2008, in Akyaka (Turkey). This event, an ideal follow up of the 1st Conference with the same title held on 2–5 November 1996 in Sarigerme (Turkey), aimed at:

(a) introducing past and present requirements and recommendations emerging from the MEDCOAST1 experience,

(b) reviewing the development and current status of ICM in both the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and

(c) presenting several novel ICM issues, which are emerging as critical items in the international ICM debate.


Since the first conference, as noted in Akyaka, significant progress has been made in the management of coastal areas of either basin, at both national and regional levels, as the result of work supported and carried out by national, regional and international organizations, as well as of the efforts of the NGO community. In particular, the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean2 signed by the majority of the Mediterranean countries in January 2008, which is the first regional legal instrument on this subject, is an indication of the level of present undertakings for ICM. After 12 years, it was considered timely to review once again the state-of-the-art of ICM in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea countries, utilizing the same format and making reference to the results achieved in 1996.

Similar to the original event, the aim of the second conference was to provide a platform for Mediterranean and the Black Sea countries to share their problems and successful experiences in ICM and to contribute to bi-lateral and regional collaboration, for improved joint efforts to enhance ICM in both basins. Invited lectures, oral and poster presentations, as well as study group sessions, reviewed the main coastal management issues, systems and efforts that stand out today at the national and regional level. The lectures and presentations focused on:

ICM topical subjects and Country reports (invited papers);

national experiences (proposed papers);

ICM problems in either basin (proposed papers);


while the study groups worked on the present needs in:

ICM research and monitoring, regional scale projects for either basin;

capacity building (education and training), regional collaboration;

implementation of ICM (national and regional).


A volume of proceedings was released after the Conference, collecting all of the manuscripts submitted in relation to the topics above, and a final statement was issued (Akyaka Declaration). However, during the Conference, an idea was also born to collect and publish a set of peer-reviewed papers, to appear in a major international journal of the ICM sector, in order to enhance the impact of the foremost contributions presented at the Akyaka event. The papers, which were selected either to outline the state of the art in ICM affairs for the Mediterraean and Black Sea (essentially the latest developments in framework of the Barcelona Convention and of the Bucharest Convention, respectively), or on the basis of the elements of novelty they presented (modelling of ICM implementations, coastal evaluation techniques for tourism applications, new methods for establishing coastal setback lines, coastal and marine cultural heritage, ecological provinces as the basis for an ecosystem approach to ICM) and which compose the current Special Issue, are:


this preface, introducing the MEDCOAST perspective on past as well as present ICM topics in the Mediterranean and Black Sea (in ANNEX: 1996 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS; 2008 AKYAKA DECLARATION);

a first review paper, dealing with the current status of ICM in the Mediterranean Sea, and with the newly adopted Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management of the Barcelona Convention in particular; the paper is authored by M. Prem, Director a.i. of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, Priority Actions Programme, Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), based in Split (Croatia);

a second review paper, dealing with the current status of ICM in the Black Sea, and with the activities of the Bucharest Convention in particular; the paper is authored by E. Antonidze, leader of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Advisory Group of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, and based at Kuban State University, in Krasnodar (Russia);

an article on ICM implementation models, by C. House, School of Built and Natural Environment, Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering at Swansea Metropolitan University, based in Swansea (UK), describing the application of implementation theory to facilitate ICM and improve understanding of coastal policies in the Mediterranean region and beyond;

a case study by Z. Ullah, Southampton Solent University, Southampton (UK), and co-workers, presenting an application of the Coastal Scenic Evaluation technique, originally developed within a Mediterranean context, with the aim of providing coastal scenic assessments for tourism goals;

a contribution by M. Sanò, Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental IH Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria, Santander (Spain), and co-workers to the coastal setback debate: while arbitrary setback lines could be set to halt unwise coastal development, their identification can actually be optimized, using integrated methodologies to be implemented at the local level;

an overview of maritime archeological resources in the Holy Land, by E. Galili and B. Rosen, both with the Israel Antiquities Authority in Atlit (Israel), presented as a reminder of the awareness that is increasingly emerging in the Mediterranean region about the need to protect and preserve the coastal and marine cultural heritage;

a report by V. Barale, senior scientist at the Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra (Italy), on the inclusion of orbital remote sensing techniques among the suite of tools used for assessing coastal and marine ecological provices, as a pre-requisite for the implementation of an ecosystem approach to ICM.


Of course, this paper collection cannot provide an exhaustive coverage of the entire spectrum of items worthy of an in-depth analysis, in the present panorama of ICM topical issues in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. However, it should be enough to provide the reader with an adequate idea of what has been achieved since the first MEDCOAST Conference in 1996, and of the work still ahead of us, as highlighted by the second Conference in 2008.


1 The MEDCOAST Network has grouped together a number of research Institutions, concerned with ICM issues in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, since 1993. Recently, the activities of the network culminated in the creation of the MEDCOAST Foundation, based in Dalyan, Turkey.

2 More on this topic in the opening article of this Special Issue: “Implementation Issues of the ICZM Proptocol and Mitigation Efforts”, by M. Prem.


Guest Editors:

Vittorio Barale and Erdal Özhan

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