Dieses Lernmodul informiert über Integriertes Küstenzonenmanagement in der Ostseeregion. Zusammengestellt wurde es von PD Dr. habil. Gerald Schernewski, Wissenschaftler am Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde im Rahmen eines von der Lighthouse Foundation finanzierten Projekts.

A short Guide to
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
in the Baltic Region

compiled by
Gerald Schernewski

January 2006

Created on behalf of EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V. within the project "IKZM Ostsee", funded by the Lighthouse Foundation.



The Baltic Region

The Baltic Region is most commonly defined by the drainage basin of the Baltic Sea. From a political and administrative point of view all 9 countries bordering the Baltic Sea, namely Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Scandinavian states (Finland, Sweden, and Denmark) can be regarded as the Baltic Region, too.

In 1992 the Council of the Baltic States was founded to promote the joint political development of this region. The council consist of Norway, Iceland and the 9 states bordering the Baltic Sea and considers an even spatially extended, so-called, Baltic Sea Region. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are historically known as the Baltic States.

The Baltic Sea drainage basin has a size of 1.745.100 km2 and is about four times larger than the Baltic Sea. About 85 million people live in the Baltic drainage area and nearly 15 millions live within 10 km of the coast. The population as well as industry is concentrated in the southern Baltic Region. 45 % of the total population live in Poland. Largest cities in the Baltic Region are St. Petersburg (5 millions), Stockholm (1.6 millions) and Copenhagen (1.35 milllions) along the Baltic Sea coast and Warsaw (1.65 millions) at the Vistula river.
The Baltic Sea Region: Baltic drainage basins, regional seas and countries. Modified after GRID-Arendal (http://www.grida.no/)
The Baltic Sea Region: Baltic drainage basins, regional seas and countries. Modified after GRID-Arendal (http://www.grida.no/)
Geology: The northern Baltic Region (Sweden, Finland) is part of the Precambrian shield. The hill studded plain landscape is characterised by magmatic and metamorphic rock partly covered by a thin layer of moraine material.

During the last ice-age the entire Baltic Region was covered with ice. After a fast melting off (18.000-6.000 BCE), the southern and eastern Baltic areas were covered with a mighty moraine layer, leaving an irregular plane landscape behind. The isostatic uplift in the northern Baltic Region still goes on with up to 8 mm/a. Fjords and the archipelago coast are typical for the rocky coasts of Scandinavia. Parts of the southern Baltic coast are submerging and undergo coastal erosion. Cliffs, sandy beaches and shallow lagoons are typical features for the smooth coastline of the southern Baltic.

Climate: Due to the warm Gulf Stream, the climate in the southern Baltic Region is maritime and becomes more continental towards east and north. In northern Finland and Sweden near the Arctic Circle a polar-continental climate is prevailing. The average monthly temperature in July is around 16-18°C in the entire Baltic Region. Average January temperatures are between -12°C in the north and 0°C in the south-west.

All areas receive sufficient amounts of rain and supply many rivers. The most important with respect to water discharge are Newa (77,6 km³/a, Russia), Vistula (33,6 km³/a, Poland), Daugava (20,8 km³/a, Latvia), Nemunas (19,9 km³/a, Lithuania and Russia) and Oder (18,1 km³/a, Poland and Germany).

History: The large rivers and the Baltic Sea always played an important role for transport and exchange in the Baltic Region. In the 9th and 10th century the Scandinavian Vikings founded settlements and trading places along the entire Baltic Sea coast. Their fast boats followed the large rivers and penetrated deep inland. Large areas and many cities especially of the Russian territory were affected. In the 14th century, the Hanse dominated trade and culture in the Baltic Region and many hanseatic cities were founded along the Baltic coasts. The importance of the region increased with increasing population and development especially of the eastern and northern Baltic areas. After World War II the Baltic region was divided into the western and northern countries with market economies as well as the socialistic states Russia, Poland and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). After the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990’s the Baltic Sea became a European Sea of central importance again. Trade and travel was intensified and the historical unity of the region is on the way to be restored.
Land cover: Forests dominate the land cover (48 %) followed by arable land (20 %) and non-productive open lands (17 %). Only 8 % in the Scandinavian and Russian drainage areas and 46 % in the southern Baltic Region are arable land and pastures.
Economy: At the end of the 20th century about 100 billion US-Dollar, or 6 % of the world trade, were already generated in the Baltic Region. Sea transport is important in this respect. About 7 % of the world sea trade takes place in Baltic Region (500 million tons in 1998), about 2000 larger ships are on the Baltic Sea at every time, and 76 significant sea harbours are available.

The Kattegat and the Kiel Canal link the Baltic Sea with the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The 100 km long Kiel Canal is the artificial channel with the highest number of ship passages world-wide (37 600 ships in 1998). Gradients in economic and social development still exist in the Baltic Region. The income per capita is 5-10 times higher in the western countries compared to the east. With the extension of the European Community a fast growth of economy and prosperity in the Baltic Region is expected. At present all countries bordering the Baltic Sea belong tho the European Union, except for Russia.



International ICZM: Framework and Background

The activities of the European Commission as well as the Agenda 21 play an important role and form the background for Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Baltic Sea area.

2. International ICZM: Framework and Background


ICZM definition

The ICZM definition of the European Commission (1999, 2002) forms the basis:

What is Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) ?
ICZM is a dynamic, continuous and iterative process designed to promote sustainable management of coastal zones.

ICZM seeks to balance

an it considers the threat to coastal zones (sea level rise, climatic chance. It means, ICZM is the sustainable development of the coastal zones.

What does Integrated mean ?
It refers to the integration of

One can speak of a temporal, spatial, horizontal and vertical integration

How does ICZM look like in practice ?
"Integrated Coastal Zone Management should not be treated as a new instrument or procedure (similar to EIA) but rather as an efficient combination of different existing instruments (legal, financial, in-dicative etc.) which need proper co-ordination and calibration." (Baltic Sea Region ICZM Platform meeting, Helsinki, 26th September 2003.
What does ICZM comprise ?
ICZM is a repetitive, circular process covering and is not restricted to ‘management’. It means large groups of the society and many stakeholders should be involved.


The Agenda 21-Process and its relation to ICZM

Integrated Coastal Zone Management is closely linked to the Agenda 21 process and can be regarded as a part of it. In the beginning ICZM served mainly as a concept to support nature protection and to ensure a sustainable developemnt of coastal ecosystems.

Agenda 21
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

Several "Programme Areas" were defined, e.g.:

Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21)
In 1996, the Prime Ministers of the Baltic Sea Region took the initiative to develop an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region. In 1998, the Foreign Ministers adopted the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, which includes agreed overall goals and sectoral goals and an action programme for sustainable development.

One chapter in the Baltic 21 Action Programme are the "Spatial Planning Actions" e.g.

Lead party for the implementation of the Baltic 21 is VASAB 2010 (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea 2010).

Regional Agenda 21 "Oder Lagoon – Region owned by two nations"
The regional Agenda 21 is an agreement between the Minister of the Enviromment Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) and the Marshal of the Voivodeship West Pomerania (Poland)and was signed in September 2002.
The action programme contains 10 points:

The regional Agenda is e.g. supported by the project ICZM-Oder/Odra and serves as regional framework for a coastal cross-border (and catchment-coast) cooperation and stakeholder (public) participation.


The European Union as driving force for ICZM

A a result of increasing pressure on coasts all over Europe, the European Commission became a major driver for ICZM in Europe. The European Commission EC-Recommendation (30 May 2002) concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe caused many activities in Europe and in the Baltic region.

Major principles are:

Regional instruments which facilitate policy, planning and management and involve all stakeholders are imperative.

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Challenges are:

The dialogue and cooperation with neighbouring countries (in a wide sense) has to be extended and improved.

The integration of ICZM with national regulations, international agreements and EC legislation (Water Framework Directive, Natura 2000) is another major challenge for the future.

The EC-Recommendation on ICZM causes many activities and a strong promotion of ICZM in the Baltic region.



Integrated Coastal Area River Basin Management (ICARM)

During the last years the short-comings of ICZM in areas where larger rivers control the coastal zone became obvious. Therefore, several organisations developed concepts and strategies for an integrated river basin - coastal zone management. Examples are United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP-ICARM and UNEP-ICAM), World Bank, UNESCO-IOC (ICOM) or Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-IMCAM). The European Water Framework Directive has a similar approach.


Transnational governmental activities in the Baltic Sea Region

The Helsinki Commission (Helcom), the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21) and Visions and Strategies around the Baltic Sea Region 2010 (VASAB 2010) are the major governmental trans-national activities and organisations supporting an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Baltic Sea Region. These organisations founded the joint Baltic ICZM Platform. Most concrete transnational ICZM-activities are funded in form of joint Interreg projects.
3. Transnational governmental activities in the Baltic Sea Region
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During the last years, ICZM in the Baltic was more and more discussed from a spatial planning perspective. Regional planners became major actors in Baltic ICZM processes. Aspects like social and economic development gained importance compared to nature conservation .
The report of the BaltCoast project provides recent suggestions from a spatial planning perspective. Basic ICZM principles from an NGO perspective can be found in Pickaver (2003).


Helsinki Commission


The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area" - more usually known as the Helsinki Convention.

Helcom consists of several working groups, which focus on special topics. The group "Nature Protection and Biodiversity Group (HELCOM HABITAT)" compiles information on the many ecosystems and habitats that provide vital breeding grounds, nurseries, shelter and food sources for the plant and animal species that live in and around the Baltic Sea. HABITAT supports the implementation of the ecosystem-based management approach and aims to extend the principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to cover the whole Baltic Sea. The group was further responsible for the HELCOM Recommendation 24/10.

In 2003 HELCOM Recommendation 24/10 "Implementation of integrated marine and coastal mamagement of human activities in the Baltic Sea area" was adopted.

HELCOM recommends to the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention:

The implementation of this Rcommendation should be evaluated at regular intervals, at least every three years.

Several ICZM documents were prepared for HELCOM HABITAT:



Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21)

The Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, in short, Baltic 21, is founded on the political will to accelerate the work on sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region and to implement Agenda 21 regionally. The process was initiated in 1996 by the Prime Ministers of the Baltic Sea Region and involves the eleven countries from the Baltic Sea Region (the members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS), the European Commission and a number of intergovernmental organisations, international financial institutions and international non-governmental networks.

The Baltic 21 Action Programme addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development – the environmental, the social and the economic aspects – and includes goals and indicators. It features thirty different actions, both sectoral and cross-sectoral, which are mostly of pilot and demonstration character and address the transition to sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region. Further Development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management is one out of 30 actions and belongs to the three spatial planning actions. The Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic 2010 (VASAB 2010) program has its focus on spatial planning and supports the Baltic 21.


The Baltic 21 Secretariat supports the Baltic 21 process and is located in Stockholm. This support ranges from practical assistance, spreading of information to the development of common definition, goals and indicators for sustainable development of the Baltic Sea Region.



Visions & Strategies 2010 around the Baltic Sea (VASAB 2010)

Vision and Strategies for the Baltic Sea Region 2010 (VASAB 2010) was founded in 1992 at the Minister Conference in Karlskrona to prepare the report "VASAB 2010. Towards a Framework for Spatial Development in the BSR". This report as well as "VASAB 2010 plus" is an outline of spatial development perspectives for the Baltic Sea Region and a basis for strengthening and harmonisation of national and regional spatial planning policies. "Integrated development of coastal zones and islands" is one out of six key themes.

The proposed concept for integrated coastal zone development considers the demands:
Aim of VASAB 2010 is to integrate ICZM into existing spatial planning procedures.

A Committee on Spatial Development in the Baltic Sea Region (CSD/BSR) and the joint secretariat in Gdańsk, Poland co-ordinate the common actions. VASAB closely co-operates with Baltic 21.

The VASAB 2010 program has contributed to sustainable development in the region through joint regional projects and planning initiatives covering various topics, and capacity building on spatial planning generally. A set of common sustainable development principles, VASAB 2010’s Spatial Action Program (“VASAB 2010 Plus”), and the INTERREG III B program for funding community development initiatives have created a foundation for collaboration and integration of planning work around the region.

An important issue for Baltic ICZM was the foundation of the Baltic Sea Region Integrated Costal Zone Management Platform.

At the minister conference in 1996 the "Common recommendations for spatial planning of the coastal zone in the Baltic Sea Region" were adopted. The recommendations are still an important background for VASAB work:


Recommendations on guidance for the process of spatial planning and management in the coastal zone:



Baltic Sea Regional ICZM Platform

In 2003 major Baltic ICZM actors, like HELCOM, Baltic 21, VASAB, the European Commission and national representatives met in Helsinki and founded the Baltic Sea Region ICZM Platform.

On their first meeting the participants came e.g. to the following conclusions:



The Baltic Region Interreg Programme


Interreg I, II, and III were European Community initiatives which aimed to stimulate interregional cooperation in the EU. They were financed under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme belongs to one of the three different strands and covered the period 2000-2006. Strand B of the INTERREG Initiative supports transnational co-operation to enhance balanced and sustainable development of the European territory. III A is focused on transboundary and III C on international co-operation.

Many Interreg projects e.g. Baltcoast, Seareg or Astra had a focus on the coastal zone and supported the work of Baltic 21 and VASAB 2010.



National activities in the Baltic Sea Region

The report "Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Baltic States - State of the Art" (2003) by Alan Pickaver gives a comprehensive overview of all national ICZM activities.
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The report contains the following information for every country:
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The "compendium on spatial planning systems in countries around the Baltic Sea" (2000) is a result of joint efforts of countries co-operating under the VASAB 2010 programme and offers additional detailed information for every country.
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A comprehensive overview about offshore uses and demands as well as the status of spatial coordination for offshore uses in the Baltic Sea Region has been compiled by Holger Platz, PLANCO Consulting GmbH, in the report "Framework for the co-ordinated use of offshore water areas around the Baltic Sea" (2004). This report was part of the BaltCoast project.
Updated information about regional and national ICZM projects and case studies in the Baltic region can be found in the EUCC - The Coastal Union database.


Baltic Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)

Many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) are active in the Baltic Sea Region. The annual Baltic Sea NGO Forum is a meeting point for these organisations. The aim of the forum is to strengthen civil society in the region by offering NGOs of the Baltic Sea countries an opportunity to exchange good experiences, develop a constantly working Baltic Sea NGO network and continue a dialogue with public authorities. The thematic focus is broad and Integrated Coastal Zone Management plays only a minor role.
A much stronger focus on ICZM has the Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), an umbrella organisation for many national NGO's, EUCC - The Coastal Union, EUCC - Baltic and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
5. Baltic Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)


Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB)

In 1990, non-governmental environmental organizations from the countries of the Baltic Sea Region established the Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) in order to co-operate in activities concerning the Baltic Sea. CCB is a politically independent, non-profit association. Currently CCB unites 26 member organizations from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden. Together the member organisations of CCB have over half a million members in all countries around the Baltic Sea.

The main goal of CCB is to promote the protection and improvement of the Baltic Sea environment and natural resources. One priority topic is the "promotion of sustainable development in coastal zones".



EUCC - The Coastal Union Baltic

EUCC - The Coastal Union is an association with 2700 members and member organisations in 40 countries. Founded in 1989 with the aim of promoting coastal conservation by bridging the gap between scientists, environmentalists, site managers, planners and policy makers, it has grown since then into the largest network of coastal practitioners and experts in Europe, with 14 National Branches and offices in seven countries.

EUCC's mission is to promote coastal management that integrates biodiversity conservation with those forms of development that sustain the integrity of landscapes, the cultural heritage and the social fabric of our coasts taking into account the effects of climate change. EUCC advocates best practice by developing coastal and marine policies, mobilising experts and stakeholders, providing advice and information, and implementing demonstration projects.

In the Baltic region EUCC created EUCC - The Coastal Union Baltic as an umbrella organisation for the Baltic office in Lithuania and the national branches e.g. EUCC-Poland, EUCC-Russia, EUCC-Finland and EUCC-Germany.
In 2003, "A Common Approach to the Implementation of ICZM in the Baltic Region: The Principles underlying such an approach" has been prepared by Alan Pickaver, EUCC – The Coastal Union. Aim was to provide more specific coast and marine related principles applicable for the Baltic Sea region, "to preserve and protect the productivity and biological diversity of coastal ecosystems, mainly through prevention of habitat destruction, pollution and overexploitation" as well as "to promote rational development and sustainable utilisation of coastal resources".
In 2003, the report "Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Baltic States. State of the Art Report - Background for Coastal Planning and Management in the Baltic Sea Region." has been compiled by Alan Pickaver, EUCC – The Coastal Union.


World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Baltic Programme

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has the aim to conserve the natural environment and ecological processes worldwide.
The WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme aims to conserve and where necessary restore the full range of biodiversity of the Baltic Sea. Its focus encompasses the whole drainage area of the Baltic Sea and promotes integrated land, coastal and marine management to strengthen the local and regional capacity to achieve sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea resources.
WWF runs several projects on ICZM in the Baltic Sea region



Coastal projects and (scientific) networks

Information about ICZM network projects and case studies in the Baltic region can be found in the EUCC - The Coastal Union database.
Recent initiatives on research and management of coastal systems are the Baltic Lagoon Network (Balloon) and Encora.
6. Coastal projects and (scientific) networks


Baltic Lagoon Network (Balloon)

The Baltic Lagoon Network (Balloon) is an informal network, which tries to link institutions, groups and individual scientists interested in interdisciplinary research and management of lagoons and areas with restricted water exchange in the Baltic Sea region. Balloon supports the following objectives.


European platform for coastal research

The European platform for sharing knowledge and experience in coastal science, policy and practice (ENCORA) is a European network built on national coastal networks and on thematic networks. ENCORA is a Coordination Action co-funded by the 6th EU Framework Programme.
Many institutes in the Baltic region are ENCORA members.


Agenda 21 networks in the Baltic

The Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F) is a network of experts from local authorities, NGOs and various other organisations around the Baltic Sea who share a dedication to sustainable development. It has been established to implement the Rio Process at the local and regional level and thus to strengthen and support Local Agenda 21 processes in all countries in the Baltic Sea Region.

CoNet CZA 21 (Coastal network Coastal Zone Agenda 21) is an association to promote a sustainable coastal zone development in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Baltic Environmental Information Dissemination System (BEIDS) is a network focussed on sustainable development of the Baltic region.