Leonardo da Vinci project : Community Vocational Training Action Programme
COASTLEARN : A multimedia distance training package on Integrated Coastal Zone Management
An initiative of EUCC - The Coastal Union, involving a large East-West partnership

13 May 2003

par Web Team

The education we offer on sustainable management of the coastal zone is developed in co-operation with and is aimed at Central and Eastern European countries. CoastLearn is presently under development. Our education is organized into modules. These modules can be studied independently, are written especially for the WWW, are illustrated with figures and exercises and will be supported by an expert helpdesk.

The three main project objectives are:

-  a) to enhance the development and the implementation of ICM in accession countries
-  b) to develop and test new IT based training modules for projects of this and similar contents and
-  c) to train ICM trainers in accession countries in applying innovative techniques

The training material and instruments will be developed by acknowledged ICZM and training specialists from Holland, the UK and Greece in close co-operation with colleagues in Poland, Lithuania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia representing coastal accession countries. It will communicate basic knowledge about ICM with the help of manuals distributed electronically (e-mail, diskettes, CD-ROM) combined with references to where additional information can be found on the internet and how to access and apply this information.

Online training modules

-  Principles of ICZM : Vulnerable coastal areas all over the world experience population growth, expansion of industry and tourism, and extensive exploitation of marine resources. In addition, the risk of natural hazards increases due to the global climate change. As a result, conflicts of interest occur more frequently and the sustainable use of natural and environmental resources is threatened.

To help resolve these conflicts ICZM has developed; Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a continuous process with the general aim of implementing sustainable development in coastal zones and maintaining their diversity. It implements decisions on the mix of uses that best serves the needs of society now and in the future. ICZM is advantageous both from an environmental - reduce or avoid irreversible environmental damage - and economic perspective - financial benefits in the longer term.

To facilitate ICZM, two key issues are identified; 1) Formal Arrangements; institutional arrangements - an administrative structure which ensures horizontal and vertical integration of management; legal arrangements - laws, conventions, decrees and standards to make management possible; financial arrangements - money to pay the expenditures during the process. 2) Information Provision; methods, tools and techniques to provide the managers the necessary information to base decisions on.

Four phases make up an ICZM program; Problem Recognition (Research Assessment), Planning (among which Data Collection, Policy Development and Decision Making), Implementation (among which Plan Execution, Operation and Maintenance and Monitoring) and Evaluation (Assessment and Outlook). These stages make up a cyclic and iterative path, rather than a linear procedure.

-  Policy Analysis : In ICZM programs problems usually involve social issues, contradictory interests and many non-comparable values. If answers to such complex problems are sought, a Policy Analysis (PA) is advantageous. It is a systematic investigation of complex policy alternatives to assist decision-makers in choosing a preferred course of action in the public sector under uncertain conditions. PA is a fundamental part of many ICZM programs.

A PA contains a number of steps. These steps are usually executed iteratively because, by definition, many aspects of the considered problem are not known on beforehand. First, the problem is analysed to determine the type of problem (orientation) and the boundaries of the problem (delimitation) to generate a description of the desired situation relative to the existing one (definition). Second, a set of criteria is defined to judge alternatives on. Third, a comprehensive list of alternatives is made from which the most promising are selected (pre-selection). Fourth, these are evaluated with specialistic models to determine the value of the chosen criteria. Finally, the alternatives are ranked to give politicians information based on which they can make their choice.

-  GIS : The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) module introduces you to how GIS can be used to help make better coastal management decisions. The module outlines the theory behind how GIS work, and the practical benefits and problems of their use. In particular, the module seeks to provide practical support for those considering using GIS. Topics covered in the module include decision-making, data sourcing, data quality management, and GIS project management. Throughout the module, there are real examples, taken from across Europe, to illustrate the benefits and potential problems associated with the use of GIS. Web links are also embedded into the module to other specialist GIS sites, including data providers, GIS suppliers and other members of the GIS user community so that you can seek further information. By the end of the module, you will be able to determine how GIS could be of use to you, what problems you are likely to encounter using GIS, and how to proceed with the development of a GIS.

-  Planning: Planning for Integrated Coastal Zone Management is a lengthy, iterative and cyclic process. The ICZM process deals with complex phenomena, complicated socio-economic and institutional situations, conflicting interests, and many different stakeholders. Long-term solutions are to be identified and implemented within a dynamic and rapidly changing society, subject to a high degree of uncertainty. This planning module explains the underlying concepts of a sound ICZM planning process. It explains why ICZM should start with an analysis of the institutional framework and the division of responsibilities. It shows the importance of stakeholder participation, including the various levels of participation. It makes clear how to design for proper institutional arrangements and how to deal with conflicts. It clarifies the need for sustainable development and how to include this in a management plan. An introduction into relevant EU policy and legislation is included. Practical examples and a case study help to understand putting the concepts into practice. Detailed descriptions of available tools to assist planners in the various planning stages are presented, including links to further information or demonstration versions of the specific tools.

-  Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA): Sustainable development requires accurate risk assessment and wise decision-making. An evaluation is required of the cost of reducing risks set against the benefits arising from reduced risk. Within coastal zone management this can be achieved most effectively by means of a co-ordinated approach to analysing and managing environmental risks; involving planning, adequate insurance and minimising risks to vulnerable communities by:

a- Identifying and understanding the nature and extent of environmental risks in coastal locations;
b- Guiding development towards the most suitable locations;
c- Ensuring that existing and future developments are not exposed to unacceptable risks; and
d- Ensuring that development does not increase the risk for the rest of the community.

The prototype version of the COASTLEARN web site is available.

Web Team

P.S. For more information contact the Webcontent manager Alan Pickaver. There’s already a directory leonardo on the server. There are some pictures there from the start-up meeting.