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An assesment of the socio-economic costs & benefits of Integrated Coastal Zone Management: final report to the European Commission
(2000). An assesment of the socio-economic costs & benefits of Integrated Coastal Zone Management: final report to the European Commission. Firn Crichton Roberts/Graduate School of Environmental Studies University of Strathclyde: Scotland. 46 + annexes pp.

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Document type: Final report

    Coastal zone

    Executive Summary:1. In January 2000 the European Commission awarded a contract to a team from Firn Crichton Roberts Ltd and the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at the University of Strathclyde to assess the socio-economic benefits generated to date through the adoption of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe. A central challenge for the team was to evolve an effective and logical methodological framework for assessing socio-economic benefits generated in Europe, especially by the ICZM Demonstration projects supported by the European commission.2. The work programme began with a major literature review of ICZM project impacts in Europe and internationally, followed by the development of assessment typologies covering both the structure of coastal zones and the economic, social and environmental impacts of ICZM. At the centre of the assessment was the use of the annual and capital values of ecosystem services in 16 biomes as identified by Costanza et al in 1997. A questionnaire survey of all EU Demonstration Projects and other European and international ICZM initiatives was undertaken; and the survey results were combined with desk and on-line research to feed into a socio-economic benefits model. The results from this model were then scaled-up to provide the team's assessment of socio-economic benefits of ICZM at the European level.3. During the assessment there was the need to confront the current absence of accepted definitions of coastal zones, ICZM and socio)economic impacts; the difficulties in accessing consitent and comparable data for coastal zones; and the deed to identify the biome composition of Europe's coasts. A total of 39 ICZM initiatives participated in the assessment, with 21 of the Demonstration Projects providing comprehensive data and information: these have provided the basis for scaling benefits up to the European level. The team acknowledges the important contribution of the ICZM managers involved.4. There are over 53,000 km of coastline within the 13 EU Member States with direct access to the sea; with a great diversity of coastline lengths, biome types and socio-economic structures. For the 21 ICZM projects with biome data, open oceans, continetal shelves and estuaries represent over 61% of the total (offshore & onshore) area of the project's coastal zones. These coastal waters generate nearly 75% of the annual ecosystem services benefit in the coastal zones using Costanza values. The total value of these benefits in the zones exceeds €18 billion annually, making coastal zones the most valuable areas within the European Union.5. The team sought to identify the management and operational best-practice features of ICZM initiatives, the majority of which have not yet evolved from their initial strategy and planning phases to operational programmes and projects. The key economic sectors in the zones were identified and assessed with tourism common. The ICZM impacts on coastal zone sectors have been most positive on tourism & leisure, housing, and forestry. The major environmental pressures in the zones were reported as being tourism, water pollution, habitat loss, coastal erosion and urban expansion.6. The assessment identified both qualitative and quantitative socio-economic benefits of ICZM initiatives. The most important qualitative benefits were greater understanding of coastal zones amongst school children; a better mutual understanding between ICZM partners; the creation of an enhanced feeling of community; more sustainable tourism; improved decision-making; and more coherent spatial planning. These qualitative benefits appear to be enduring and tot provide the basis for further ICZM activity in the future. Expenditure within the European ICZM projects responding to the survey was just over €22 million for the 1996-2000 period; with total ICZM related expenditure in Europe probable exceeding €60 million over the same period. Further investigation is required of European ICZM expenditure.7, The survey suggests that there are low-level ICZM initiatives involving an average total project expenditure of €0,5 million plus €50/KM of coastline; and high level initiatives averaging €0,5 million plus €250/km coastline. These two broad bands of costs were used in the team's modelling of socio-economic infrastructure and business, and for tourism, both for the ICZM zones and for the 13 coastal Member State of the European Union.; At the national level, the annual value of ICZM benefits ranged from €65 million for Eire to €883 for the United Kingdom. The modelling also suggests that 78% of these benefits at the European Union level come via industry benefits; 13% from tourism; and the remainder from habitat enhancement.8. In terms of the annual value of the net benefits generated by ICZM initiatives the modelling suggest that these were €127,1 million for low level initiatives (a benefit: cost ratio of 13,6:1); and €659,8 million for high level ICZM initiatives (8,6:1). These have been derived using a very conservative approach to valuing benefits. They exclude the important qualitative benefits of ICZM initiatives which cannot be valued without additional investigation at the level of the individual ICZMs. These include organisational and planning efficiency gains, improved resource use, and greater economic and environmental sustainability of coastal communities.9. The team suggests that, despite the Demonstration Programme, there has been a relative "policy-off" situation in relation to a European wide approach to ICZM. The proposed European ICZM Strategy currently being promoted by the European Commission is seeking to encourage a "policy-on" approach: the assessment modelling suggests that such a positive policy stance can produce socio-economic benefits up to four times higher than those identified by the team. Given the value of the ecosystem benefits generated by Europe's coastal zone, investment in ICZM policy initiatives has a comparatively high rate of return compared to non-coastal projects in other areas of the European Union.10. The assessment concludes that the European Commission's support for the ICZM Demonstration Programme has helped raise understanding of the importance and value of coastal zones to the European Union. The net socio-economic benefits significantly exceed the ICZM expenditures involved; and this argues strongly for funding support for ICZM projects, both through national governments and the European Commission. The report concludes with a series of recommendations and proposals on the definition, delivery, management and evaluation of future ICZM initiatives; and a suggestion that the team's survey be undertaken in 2005 to identify the longer-gestation benefits and impacts.

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