2) Establishing an Enabling Environment for ICM Investment

Investors must consider the level of risk in their assessment of potential investments. Aside from project-specific risk, the setting for an investment — including considerations like ease of doing business, available infrastructure, rule of law, and local management and enforcement capacity— can have a significant impact on overall investment risk. Proper governance is critical for establishing an enabling environment for investment in ICM sectors, such as ecotourism, energy, sustainable fisheries, coastal habitat restoration, climate resilience, marine pollution reduction, access to fresh water and others.

Governments must provide effective policies and regulatory regimes to establish stable governance and provide assurances of acceptable levels of risk to potential investors. At the national level, coastal and ocean policies can seek to achieve a wide range of objectives including establishment of institutional mechanisms, promotion of science and technology and advocacy for new development paradigms such as coastal use zoning. In a review of 12 countries implementing the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), a total of 255 national ICM-related policies have been developed and implemented across the region governing habitats, oceans, food security and livelihood, pollution reduction, hazards, water resources, and disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

National and Local Alignment for Establishing Effective Coastal Governance

The Philippines demonstrates one example of effective coastal governance, where Executive Order No. 533 adopts integrated coastal management as a national strategy to ensure the sustainable development of the country’s coastal and marine environment and resources. Implementation of ICM programs under EO 533 includes consideration of investment opportunities and sustainable financing mechanisms. Importantly, the implementation of coastal sustainable development strategies at the local level are aligned with the tenets of the Philippines’ national strategy for integrated coastal management. Such local strategies, which include concrete, cross-sector actions to effectively manage resources, provide a stable foundation for developing investments in coastal and marine areas. For example, the Provinical Government of Bataan has developed a Sustainable Development Strategy and Coastal Land and Sea-Use Zoning Plan that are aligned with national policies and regional efforts through the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA). 

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