A Tale of Two Initiatives: Integrated Coastal Management in Xiamen and Batangas Bay Region

Thia-Eng Chua
Type of Resource: 
Technical Reports / References

Two parallel initiatives on the application of Integrated Coastal Management approach in Xiamen (PR China) and the Batangas Bay Region (Philippines) for achieving sustainable coastal development were assessed in relation to Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) applicability, effectivess, replicability and scaling up in two different political, socioeconomic, ecological and cultural settings. The paper analyzed the conditions under which various policy and management interventions were made and how they contributed to policy reforms, integration of sectoral policies and interagency functions to reduce policy conflicts and overlapping responsibilities. The importance of stakeholder participation and creating an informed public are stressed in relation to strengthening political commitments and building enabling environment for management actions. The results obtained over a span of 14 years suggest that the ICM approach is doable and effective in facilitating policy reforms, improving interagency and multisector coordination. ICM is also as efficient through its management framework, planning and implementing processes as well as its interagency, multi-stakeholders consultative platform for the implementation of various coastal programs. The paper draws conclusions on coastal governance from the lessons learned and identifies essential elements that are instrumental to effective implementation of the ICM program as well as room for improvement. Finally, the paper describes current efforts in codifying the ICM framework. Further, it outlines an improved ICM program development and implementation process using international standards for quality and environmental management and appropriate documentation through the use of a “State of the Coasts” reporting format. A complete ICM system has now evolved, the application of which enables one to document the required processes and actions so that the outputs and status can be effectively measured and assessed against its set objectives.