What is Integrated Coastal Zone Management ?

  Taken from The Department of Environment and Heritage

The coastal zone is one of Australia's greatest assets. The fundamental goal of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is to maintain, restore or improve the quality of coastal zone ecosystems and the societies they support. National cooperation is required to achieve ecologically sustainable development through ICZM.

The Framework for a National Cooperative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management, endorsed in October 2003, addresses both development and conservation challenges for coastal Australia that are of national scale and scope. It recognises the need for governments to support ongoing economic, social and environmental well being in the coastal zone. It sets the scene for national cooperation in managing coastal issues and ensuring effective and complementary arrangements within and across jurisdictions, and to better reflect the interests of coastal stakeholders.

The six priority areas addressed in the Framework are:

  • integration across the catchment coast ocean continuum
  • land and marine based sources of pollution
  • climate change
  • pest plants and animals
  • planning for population change
  • capacity building

While jurisdictions have different legislative and administrative frameworks for managing the coastal zone, adopting a national cooperative approach seeks to address cross border and sectoral issues, harmonise joint action towards management of common issues, and encourage investments from all jurisdictions.

An implementation plan that seeks nationally cooperative outcomes within nominated timeframes has now been released.  The National Cooperative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management – Framework and Implementation Plan (Click to view pdf file) sets out, under the strategic priority areas, implementation objectives and actions required to address coastal management issues. Actions identified in the implementation plan will build on existing coastal management initiatives at all levels of government and, where feasible, will be achieved through the efficient allocation of existing resources.

The Intergovernmental Coastal Advisory Group

The implementation of the Framework for a National Cooperative Approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management is managed through the Intergovernmental Coastal Advisory Group (ICAG), comprised of representatives from the Australian Government, each state government, the Northern Territory Government and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). ICAG members meet several times a year to share experiences and to work on Framework implementation.

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