EU coastal zone improvement plan proposed

Commission responds to "unplanned" and "uncoordinated" coastal zone management

The European Commission today published two communications calling for better coordination and cooperation in managing coastal zones at EU and national levels.

In the first it suggests a strategy to address environmental deterioration in coastal zones. Among the 38 proposed actions are creation of a coastal management network for European managers and planners, better coordination of EU policies with local administrations and project financing.

The second communication contains a draft EU recommendation - which would not be legally binding on member states - to develop national strategies for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). This would encourage EU countries to assess the use and state of their coastal zones and then to develop national management strategies. It asks member states to report on progress within two years.

Evaluation of 35 existing ICZM projects under an EU demonstration programme had shown substantial degradation of EU beaches, and coastal habitats, soils and water resources, the Commission said. "National governments, local and regional administrations, NGOs, local residents, visitors, tourist operators, fishermen, port operators all have a role to play," it added.

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