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The state of the art of public participation in Europe

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This article is the main body of the status report on public participation in Europe. The introduction of this report has been separated from the rest of the report because it provides background information on public participation that could be of interest outside of the ENCORA project. This article is meant as a deliverable for the ENCORA project.

Introduction

The article Introduction into public participation discusses the context of the state of the art report on public participation in ICZM in Europe. This article is also the introduction chapter of the State of the Art report.

Methods

In order to measure public participation in different EU countries, EUCC put out a questionnaire to approximately 150 professionals in ICZM, with a focus on public participation. Out of 187 questionnaires sent, 38 were returned. The number of returned questionnaires was significantly lower than anticipated. The number of returned questionnaires per country is shown in table 1.

State No. of returned questionnaires
Belgium 4
Canada: 1
Cyprus: 1
Germany: 2
Spain: 2
France: 3
Greece: 2
Ireland: 4
Italy: 1
Netherlands: 3
Poland: 1
Portugal: 4
Sweden: 2
UK: 8

Table 1: Number of returned questionnaires per state. 150 questionnaires were originally sent out, each state had similar numbers of questionnaires.

The questionnaire had a total of 38 responses, 37 of these responses were from within the EU. There are 12 ENCORA project states represented in the responses. The obvious missing ENCORA state is Denmark, from which no replies have been received. Two replies came from Cyprus and Canada, states which are not part of the ENCORA project. The results from Cyprus and Canada are not included in the state of the art, but discussed separately. Although these results were not intended, they provide a benchmark for the ENCORA states. The questionnaire was sent to experts in public participation in ICZM. The majority of experts was selected by ENCORA national coordinators and some were added through the EUCC network. The experts are from a variety of backgrounds, including science, national authorities (including national research institutes), regional authorities, local authorities, consultancy, NGO's and various others. See table 2 for an overview.

Background No. of returned questionnaires
Science 14
National authorities 7
Regionalauthorities 7
Local authorities 2
Consultancy 3
NGOs 2
Other 2

Since the questionnaire included feedback, several slightly different versions were sent out while the questionnaire was refined. These versions differed mostly in the phrasing and order of the questions. The results as shown below are a combination of different versions of the questionnaire.

The final version of the questionnaire consists of the following questions. The questions relate to stakeholder involvement, involvement of the general public, state of the art of legal instruments, good practices, current obstacles and level of public participation estimated by the expert.

  1. How are the stakeholders identified?
  2. What are the main ways to get stakeholders involved in the ICM process?
  3. What are the main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process in your country?
  4. At which stage of the ICM process do the stakeholders usually get involved?
  5. Is there a common vision for the future of the coastal zone in your country? If yes, were all stakeholders actively involved in creating this vision? If no, please explain why not.
  6. In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?
  7. Is the public aware of the importance of ICM in your country?
  8. What are the main ways to get the public involved in the ICM process?
  9. Is data, information and knowledge about ICM available to the public? How?
  10. According to you, what are the improvements that could be made when trying to inform and involve the public in ICM?
  11. Is ICM participation in your country mostly voluntary or defined by law?
  12. European law provides legislation, like the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention, that requires the member states to implement participation in environmental matters. Does your country implement these directives? How?
  13. What provisions are there in national legislation concerning environmental participation?
  14. Do you feel that participation in environmental issues is legally supported more by the national government, local or federal/regional government, or the European Union?
  15. Can you please name some examples of good practices concerning ICM participation in your country
  16. Can you please name any obstacles to the implementation of public participation in your country?
  17. What measures are taken in your country to make sure that effective public and stakeholder involvement is taking place?
  18. Can you please name some specific projects in your country that promote participation in the ICM process?
  19. Can you please complete the following table, which is based on the different levels of public participation put forward by Sherry Arnstein. Please mark the appropriate level for your country.
  20. Can you please complete the following table, which is based on the different levels of public participation put forward by Sherry Arnstein. Please mark the appropriate level for your region.

State of the Art

The state of the art chapter contains an overview of the current status of several aspects of public participation. The state of the art chapter is composed using data from the ENCORA public participation questionnaire and additional comments from within the ENCORA network.

Belgium

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified on an ad hoc basis, through and for specific projects. There is no formal, unified method to identify stakeholders

Stakeholder involvement

For projects, public hearings and /or workshops, professional organisations, media and personal contacts are used to involve stakeholders.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

The main groups of stakeholders are NGO's, Fishermen, Recreation, harbour authorities, shipping, government, consultants, academics, windmill developers, sand and gravel industry

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are usually involved from an early planning stage, or after administrative consultation

Visions and or strategies for the future

A long term vision is lacking, however there is legal & planning instrumentation such as EIA procedures and Natura 2000

The public as a stakeholder

The public is generally not seen as a stakeholder, but it is acknowledged that they should be involved. The extent of involvement of the public as a stakeholder is unknown.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public is seen as not very aware of the importance of ICM. Questionnaires show that most people do know something about nature protection, but terms such as sustainable development and integrated planning are much less known.

Methods to initiate public participation

The public is involved using the following methods: magazine `De grote Rede', brochures, exhibitions, workshops and conferences, educational activities and websites (www.vliz.be).

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Both general information on ICM and specific information on the Belgium coast are easily available.

Main improvements for public participation

A permanent, structured, informal platform for consulting the public is needed.

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

Public participation in ICZM is not embedded in the legal system, but this situation is changing. The legal process is slowly catching up with the ideas quite generally supported by the government and academics.

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The water framework directive is implemented on both national and regional scale. The Arhus convention is implemented, but in practice only a minimum is done.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

Environmental Impact assessments (EIA) are used in Belgium, and public participation is foreseen through a consultation process within these EIA's. Furthermore, all coastal nature reserves have advisory bodies where stakeholders are full (voting) members.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The main legal support comes from the EU and local/regional level

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • Involvement of a nature conservation organisation (natuurpunt) in dune management
  • involvement of stakeholders in steering groups for the re-arrangement of dune areas or nature reserves
  • City of Ostend, which stimulates participation of inhabitants through local meetings every 3 months

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • The federal structure resulted in a very complex structure of departments and competences that aren't that easily accessible, they also give rise to parallel processes both often seeking public participation. This means that different public participation processes take place in the same time
  • Laws along the coastline are similar to our federal structure: very and complicated. Sometimes federal, regional and local laws are needed to tackle just one problem. This makes public participation more complicated.
  • Belgian politicians did (do) not have a public participation mentality/tradition. Recent reorganizations of the federal and Flemish governments encourage public participation but also stress the need to maintain political power and responsibilities.
  • Not all relevant stakeholders are involved in future plans of coastal harbours

Involvement of local inhabitants is sometimes lacking and could be increased.

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

This varies, but some organisations work towards that, ie: VLIZ, Schelde informationcentre.

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

Communication campaign on ICZM, Sustainable beach management campaign

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Belgium is considered to vary between level 2 and level 5

  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice

Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

There is only one region with a coast in Belgium, therefore the regional level is the same as the national level.

France

Stakeholders identification

Stakeholders are identified using different methods. Three methods are mentioned specifically: 1) Using a list, managed by regional authorities, of institutions working on the coast, 2) Through science or consultants studies or 3) Through known coastal conflicts.

Stakeholder involvement

These stakeholders are involved through a variety of methods. Forecast studies and focus groups are specifically mentioned.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Stakeholders include public authorities at national, regional and local level, scientists, fishermen, environmental organisations, agriculture, harbours, etc. Generally, anyone with an interest can participate. However, it has been proven more difficult to involve non-organized stakeholders. There are some permanent regional stakeholder groups, and a national coastal forum (Conseil national du Littoral), but not all regions have such a forum.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Authorities try to involve stakeholders as early as possible, and cases have been known were other stakeholders have initiated ICM processes. This differs between projects. Some are very strict, involving only scientists, government bodies and some specific organized stakeholders. Others involve anyone with an interest in the coastal zone.

Visions and or strategies for the future A coastal zone vision is being developed by the national government.

The public as a stakeholder

The public is not seen as a stakeholder. To be a stakeholder, they have to be in a formal organisation. This is a potential problem. However, awareness amongst authorities is increasing that non-organized stakeholders need to be included in public participation processes.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The general public has no awareness of ICM at all.

Methods to initiate public participation

The general public has little awareness of ICM, but this is improving slowly. There is a focus on concrete results in a short term perspective to maximize public interest.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

In some geographical areas, there is specific information and knowledge available to the public, but not everywhere. Lack of awareness is generally seen as the bottleneck, not lack of information.

Main improvements for public participation

To improve awareness, it is important to show the practical benefits of ICM to the public.

Legal requirements for public participation in ICM

Public participation in ICM is voluntary.

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The water framework directive and the Arhus Convention have been implemented, but one expert notes this is only for expert participation, not for the general public.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

There is limited legal instrumentation for public participation on a national level.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

Legal requirements for participation are limited to informing the public.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

DIACT appel a projets

Baie de somme project www.baiedesomme.org

Côte d'Opale, http://www.sm-cote-opale.com/

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Bureaucracy/regulations at different government levels
  • Lack of public interest in ICZM
  • Difficulty of sharing information between stakeholders
  • Lack of interest by local authorities

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement DIACT: "appel a projets"

The regional agenda 21

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

Conseil de suivi de l'Estuaire

Territoires- littoraux www.territiores-littoraux.com/

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in France is considered to vary between level 1 and level 4

  • Level 1 - all decisions are taken by government;
  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

In the regions, the level of public participation is considered to be between level 2 and level 5

  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken;

Germany

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified by the authorities (at national and regional level) and in research projects by scientific experts. These stakeholders are generally asked to participate in advisory groups. In research projects there is cooperation with scientific stakeholders.

Stakeholder involvement

In research projects, the cooperation between different stakeholders ensures involvement. In other projects a regional forum is used to involve stakeholders.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Science, administration, business development and nature development are the main groups. For a complete list see: www.ikzm-strategie.de

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are usually involved in an early stage, but this varies between projects.

Visions and or strategies for the future

There is a national ICZM strategy (www.ikzm-strategie.de) and at least one regional ICZM strategy. But it is questioned whether this is also a national common vision of ICZM.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

The public is not seen as a stakeholder, but as a separate group. However, it is expected that public involvement will increase with new EIA legislation.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public is not very aware of ICZM. Long term dissemination and education on this subject does not exist. As a result the public does not participate in the ICZM process.

Methods to initiate public participation


Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

There is information available for the general public, mostly through websites and the EUCC-Germany newsletter. The availability of local or specialized information is unclear.

Main improvements for public participation

Further work on public involvement in ICZM should focus on an institute for continued ICZM dissemination and earlier and more involvement of the public in formal planning processes.

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

ICM participation is embedded in the national legal framework

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

Both the water framework directive and the Arhus Convention are implemented and ICZM is legally supported by the national government.

National legislation concerning environmental participation


Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The National government is the main legal support in environmental issues

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • Wadden sea forum (with the Netherlands and Denmark)
  • National working group on ICZM and marine development
  • Further good practices can be found in national iczm strategy (www.ikzm-strategie.de)

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

Lack of awareness by the general public

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement


Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

Wadden Sea Forum

Spatial planning for offshore windfarms in the EEZ and Coastal zone

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Germany is approximately level 4

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

Regionally, the level of public participation varies between level 3 and level 5

  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken

Greece

Stakeholder identification

Greece follows UNET/MAP procedures to identify stakeholders

Stakeholder involvement

Stakeholders are involved through participation in local management bodies, but management is usually very top-down and ICM processes usually only occur near protected areas.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Stakeholders include tourism, agriculture, fisheries, NGOs, local authorities and national autorities, experts, farmers.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are involved in various stages, depending on the project.

Visions and or strategies for the future

There is no common vision reported.

The public as a stakeholder

The public is considered to be a stakeholder in Greece.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public is not very aware of ICM.

Methods to initiate public participation

Raising public participation focuses on raising pubic awareness, using education campaigns.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Public access to information is poor, but some education/awareness raising is done. The public has very limited access to information. ICM principles are widely available to scientists, conservationists, policy makers, etc, but this information does not flow to the general public.

Main improvements for public participation

policy should involve the public at all stages of the ICM process At the same time, it is important to raise awareness among the public

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

There is no legal requirement for public participation in ICZM

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

unknown

National legislation concerning environmental participation

ICM is not a required tool in Greece, but there are various provisions in national legislation regarding public environmental participation. However, these are not enforced, mainly because of a highly centralized government system

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The European Union is the main driver of ICM procedures in Greece

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • HENCORE
  • MIO-ECSDE
  • National marine park of alonissos-northern sporades

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

Lack of long term funding for national parks

Lack of enforcement of existing legal instruments

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

none

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process


Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

unknown

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

Regionally, the level of public participation varies between levels 1 and 2

  • Level 1 - all decisions are taken by government;
  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support

Ireland

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified on an ad-hoc basis, depending on the project. Local projects are more ad-hoc than national or sectoral initiatives. These initiatives use more formal methods of stakeholder identification.

Stakeholder involvement

Some stakeholders are invited and newspaper, directories and other media are used to find additional stakeholders.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Stakeholders include authorities at national and local level, industry (ports), NGOs, academics and statutory bodies. These statutory bodies include those representing heritage, fishing, aquaculture, agriculture, islands, tourism.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

In local projects the stakeholders are usually involved from the beginning, however as scale goes up, stakeholders tend to be involved later. However, generally, stakeholder involvement seems to be from very early stages.

Visions and or strategies for the future

Most experts agree that there is no common vision for the future of the coastal zone in Ireland. However, one expert points to the 1997 draft policy document on ICZM. This expert acknowledges that more is expected from the EU water framework directive than from the policy document on ICZM. Jurisdiction in Ireland is split at the high water mark, which hinders integrated management.

The public as a stakeholder

The public is considered a stakeholder in Ireland

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

There is limited awareness of ICZM among the public. People that live in coastal zones and/or have had experience in ICZM projects or coastal conflicts have more awareness.

Methods to initiate public participation

Local projects have had more success in raising awareness than others. EU projects have also had success, but training modules and other awareness raising results are often left floundering after the end of a project.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Generally, ICM information is available to the public, notably through websites available through research institutes (MIDA), project websites and EU project websites. A new development is the I-Co-Net (the Irish coastal network, part of the ENCORA initiative) digital newsletter, which plays an important role. A disadvantage is that the project websites generally only give information about the project area, more general information (nationwide) is scarce.

Main improvements for public participation

Improvements in public awareness include centralisation of available information, a framework for stakeholder involvement and higher political importance

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The Water Framework Directive has and will have an important impact in Ireland. However this is still in an early stage. Both the WFD and the Arhus convention have been implemented formally, however as they are relatively recent, practical implementation has been debatable. Ireland has been devided into 7 river basin management districts, and there have been efforts at improved monitoring.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

ICM processes are not directly implemented in Irish law. There is a statutory requirement for public participation in the drafting of local authority county development plans. However, land spatial planning is becoming more integrated, requiring public participation. Marine development is less integrated, but has a public consultation aspect. The main national legislation consists of EIA legislation. Developments are open to public participation through the Planning and Development Acts for spatial planning, the Fisheries acts for aquaculture and other developments through the Foreshore Acts.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

Legal support for public participation is mainly EU driven. Environmental legislation is good, while enforcement remains a problem.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

Aquareg

Corepoint

Copranet

I-Co-Net

Bantry bay project, until funding was suddenly withheld

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

Jurisdictional and administrative uncertainties and gaps; current marine development control is sectoral and project led. Lack of core funding – all initiatives are project led, which leads to lack of continuity

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

Some legislation provides for statutory consultation but these are with other designated Government departments and agencies not ALL stakeholders.

There is legislation under the EIA, Habitats and Birds directives and also the decision making process for Aquaculture and Foreshore licences.

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process


Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Ireland is considered to vary between level 2 and level 4

  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

Regionally, the level of public participation varies between levels 3 and 4

  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;

Italy

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholder identification differs between regions

Stakeholder involvement

It is difficult to involve stakeholders at local level in the ICM process; there are more conflicts of interest at local level and stakeholders apply a too confined approach that limits their possibility to assess priorities and choices.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

coastal tourist operators

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are usually involved late in the process, after plans have been drawn up. Local stakeholders may have more say in the role of co-financiers of a development project.

Visions and or strategies for the future

There is absolutely no common vision in Italy. The national Environment Ministry attention to ICM (if present), cannot interact with local planning decisions.

The public as a stakeholder

The public is not seen as a stakeholder, but as a separate group

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

There is no awareness at all. Furthermore, the public has little regard for environmental issues.

Methods to initiate public participation

Public participation in this case needs to start with education, more diffusion of knowledge to the public

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Not at all. The public lacks access to thematic geographic information. The only high level example is the Geo portal from Ministry of Environment but also in this case thematic information is scarce.

Main improvements for public participation

Fundamental: people should be able to address government strategies, to comprehend the cause and effect of choices, to perceive the real degradation of the environment compared to the past, but this can only be done if relevant knowledge is accessible and transparent

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

Public participation is voluntary, but not legally required

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The legal framework is minimal, the water framework directive was implemented through the basin authorities, but this was undone again recently. The status of implementation of the arhus convention is unknown.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

National legislation seems to be non-existent.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The EU is the main driver of ICZM legislation in Italy

Good practices concerning ICM participation

ICZM application among municipalities along the Adriatic seafront in the Emilia Romagna Region (Cervia Municipality coordinator)

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Lack of national strategy
  • lack of public awareness
  • Inefficient organisation of authorities at all levels.

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

None known

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

MASTER PLAN of Regional Po Plain

Master plan of Ravenna province

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Italy is approximately level 4

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Italian regions is also approximately level 4

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked

The Netherlands

Stakeholder identification

There is a combination of ad hoc and formal procedures to identify stakeholders. There are formal procedures at the provincial level, but for projects ad hoc methods are used

Stakeholder involvement

Stakeholders are involved through public hearings, an through procedures for sharing information during EIA and SEA processes

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Stakeholders include environmental NGOs, the drinking water industry, energy sector, transport sector, tourism, waterboards (in charge of coastal defence), local, regional and national authorities. Note that stakeholders are almost always organized, members of the general public are usually not involved.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are included from the initiation or planning phases of a project.

Visions and or strategies for the future

There is no common national vision, but some regional visions exist. Consultation for these visions have taken place, but the amount of input of stakeholders is unknown

The public as a stakeholder

Experts in the Netherlands disagree: some think that most people view the public as a stakeholder, other experts think that the public is generally seen as separate from stakeholders.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public is usually not familiar with the term ICZM. There is much public discussion on coastal issues, especially regarding safety issues. The public is also aware of the need to integrate sectors in the coastal zone.

Methods to initiate public participation

Both authorities and NGOs play an important role in informing the public, this is done using a range of media, from local newspapers to websites.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

NGO's provide brochures, organize theme weeks, and are generally active in participation. However, this is usually not labelled as ICZM.

Main improvements for public participation

  • More information should be available on a local level
  • a national vision or strategy should be created distinct from existing planning procedures

Is ICM participation in your country mostly voluntary or defined by law?

Public participation is embedded in the legal framework, mostly in EIA and SEA procedures and other spatial planning frameworks.

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The Water framework directive is currently being implemented, the Arhus convention has been implemented

National legislation concerning environmental participation

National legislation consists mainly of EIA and SEA procedures, And other legislation related to the spatial planning framework

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

Generally, European and national legislation seem to be similarly advanced. In the Netherlands, the regions (provinces) play an important role in spatial planning and therefore in ICZM. Two experts indicate that the provinces have the most important role in supporting participation.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • Waddensea forum
  • Rom-rijnmond
  • Regional forums on the coast (POK)
  • Project zwakke schakels (project weak links)

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Lack of horizontal integration: competition between departments in the national authorities
  • Lack of public interest and public awareness
  • People feel they have no power, decisions are already taken when they are consulted
  • Current public participation leads to long and slow processes

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

  • Simple legislation
  • workgroups and active communication

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

  • leven met water
  • HarmoniCOP

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Belgium is considered to vary between level 4 and level 5

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken;

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Dutch regions is also approximately level 4 to level 6

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken;
  • Level 6 - real negotiation between stakeholders and decision-makers;

Poland

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified using a sectoral approach

Stakeholder involvement

There is a legal framework stipulating public consultations when an investment is planned in the coastal zone, for all projects an environmental impact assessment is obligatory. Investments in direct proximity to the shoreline (about 100-200m of coastal strip from shoreline) must also be approved by the Maritime Office

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

Local people show their interest when an investment is planned through the Maritime Office.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Major stakeholders often initiate actions, e.g. upgrading a waste treatment. For large projects a contractor is obliged to consult other potential stakeholders (fishermen organizations, tourist lobbies, etc.) Local people are approached last, these public consultations are often just a formality, because the public has little confidence in the process and because they often come up with unrealistic demands often supported by ignorance.

Visions and or strategies for the future

This vision is currently being created. The national government is preparing an ICZM strategy for Poland, a draft version has been circulated among stakeholders; the final version will include their feedback information. This strategy will comply with regional strategies of development including major cities and municipalities.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

It is beginning to be considered as a stakeholder by central, regional and local administration. On the other hand the public has insufficient relevant information and limited confidence in the good intentions of authorities

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public is not very aware, although local inhabitants are beginning to realize that their living standards and job opportunities depend on a number of elements. They do not realize however, that these elements should be integrated.

Methods to initiate public participation

Existing EU regulations and legal framework enforce national regulations towards ICZM. This process will meet an obstacle of lack of public engagement, which will be overcome when they realize in full that their living heavily depends on their participation.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

People have some knowledge of developments in their city/municipality. However, they do not know the concept of integrated management.

Main improvements for public participation

Public awareness should be created by press interviews with ICZM experts; first targeted to better educated and interested people (students, professionals), then to the general public.

Is ICM participation in your country mostly voluntary or defined by law?

It is obligatory by law; approvals of Maritime Offices, environmental impact assessment, consultations with the public and institutional users are all obliged by law.

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

Yes, e.g. to fulfil the Water Framework Directive, national environmental monitoring programs are executed.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

A new building project needs an environmental impact assessment. Moreover, regional development plans are available in municipal offices, so the public have access to this knowledge, including environmental matters. National legislation is compliant with EU regulations.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

In new EU member states, like Poland, EU legislation is a driver of changes in national/regional laws.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • Consultations of issues related to the construction of marina in Sopot with the inhabitants and all interested institutions.
  • Construction of underwater waste water discharge facility in Mechelinki near Gdynia combined with consultations with local fishermen and inhabitants and all involved institutions.

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

Lack of public awareness, interest and trust in authorities

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

Questionnaires on ICZM performance are distributed at professional meetings and conferences where stakeholders are present. Local press and media are approached to attract the general public by presenting elements of ICZM.

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

The 4-th Baltic Festival of Science where schoolchildren and students are informed about knowledge based society including environmental protection.

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Poland is considered to vary between level 3 and level 4

  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in the regions is similar to the national levels:

  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;

Portugal

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified principally through the judgement of the people leading a given coastal management initiative. There are no guidelines or rules in this respect and the practice so far has varied according to the different initiatives. Stakeholders are usually individuals or organizations with an interest in the coastal zone region.

Stakeholder involvement

There is no ICM public participation process at present in Portugal. There are plans and initiatives related to the coastal zone, but none of these set out an uniform way of involving stakeholders. Such involvement might vary from discussion groups to simple consultation as part of an EIA process, which is governed by law. The main method of involvement is through public consultation as part of EIA's

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

The main groups involved in the consultations leading to the numerous ICM proposals have been 1) public bodies that relate to the coastal zone; 2) representatives of economic sectors that use the coastal zone, including sectoral associations; 3) experts – from academia and the public and private sectors; and 4) the general public, although usually at the very last stages of the development of proposals.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

groups 1), 2) and 3) of the previous question tend to be consulted in the earlier stages of proposal development, whereas the general public only at later stages. EU directives and/or national policies state that end-users should be involved whenever their interests are under discussion and/or under threat.

Visions and or strategies for the future

Yes, there is a national strategy for the Portuguese coastal zone. The document has been proposed at the Governmental level and submitted for public discussion. However, this may not constitute a national vision since there is a generalised lack of awareness for the process of developing a national ICM strategy, and because it is questionable that all relevant stakeholders have been adequately involved in the process.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

Some experts see the public as a stakeholder, others do not. One expert indicated that the public can act as a stakeholder only at the municipal level.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public has limited understanding of ICZM. ICZM projects and coastal threats such as tourism, erosion and fishing increase the awareness of coastal issues and ICZM

Methods to initiate public participation

media advertisement and education, workshops, forums

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

There is little information available outside the community of ICM professionals for the general public. Specific data is available at the ministry for the environment and/or at regional institutions but this information is usually too technical for the general public. Broad range dissemination and education is a priority for public involvement as this is currently lacking.

Main improvements for public participation

  • Broad range dissemination for the general public
  • Education of respect for natural values in general
  • Making technical information easily accessible for the general public

Is ICM participation in your country mostly voluntary or defined by law?

ICM is voluntary, consultation is defined by law through EIA procedures

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The Water framework directive and the arhus convention have been transposed into national legislation and efforts have been made by governmental organisations (INAG, IPIMAR, CCDRs) and other authorities to implement these directives.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

ICM specifically is currently not regulated by Portuguese law. EIA procedures however, require public consultation.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

Experts feel that legislation in Portugal has matched European legislation, therefore, there is very little difference between legal support from the national government or the EU.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • Sectoral plan for natura 2000 in the azores
  • Regional icm forums
  • INAG
  • terra ICZM

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Lack of information
  • Lack of awareness
  • Pressure for urbanisation

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement


Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

  • ENCORA and other EUCC projects
  • LITOSOST, several projects of Fisheries and oceanography dept.
  • PoCoast, EUCC portugal branch
- Coastal Zone Management Plan of Burgau-Vilamoura;

- Coastal Zone Management Plan of Vilamoura V. Real de Santo António;

- Coastal Zone Management Plan of Sines-Burgau;

- Algarve’s Regional Management Plan (it has a specific item for the conservation of the coast);

- Detail Plans for beaches (Ex: Praia da Rocha)

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Portugal is considered to be at level 4

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Portuguese regions is considered to be at level 4

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked

Spain

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders have been identified using a national survey under directive 413/2002/EC, identified stakeholders were asked to complete the list with missing stakeholders. Stakeholders were categorized per region.

Stakeholder involvement

The identified stakeholders are called to participate in the Master Plan for Coastal Sustainability (MPCS) that is the main ICZM initiative at the Spanish national level. Stakeholders are usually involved using workshops or seminars.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

The stakeholder database has over 500 stakeholders, these include NGO’s, authorities, academia, businesses, ports, fisheries and tourism.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders are usually involved from a very early stage, even in the initiation phase.

Visions and or strategies for the future

There is no common vision for ICZM in the future. There is a strong contrast between the short term vision of the building industry for tourism development and the long term vision of NGO’s. Some authorities try to slow down the occupation of the coastal zone. There is a discussion on a common vision for the future of the coast between stakeholders.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

In Spain, the public is seen as a stakeholder

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public not very aware of ICM and few public administrations are aware of how integration can improve management practices in the coastal zone.

Methods to initiate public participation

The public is involved by asking them specific questions and problems

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

There is no or little information available but work is being done to change this. No examples are given.

Main improvements for public participation

First of all it is necessary to provide very clear information through indicator-objectives and thresholds.

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

Completely voluntary, however, the previously mentioned Master Plan for Coastal Sustainability (MPCS) is subject to the EAE directive

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The Water Framework Directive and the Arhus convention are implemented.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

There’s no specific legislation for public participation but public participation mechanisms are applied to planning process and specific projects following the EIA law and the EAE directive.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities


Good practices concerning ICM participation Good examples:

  • Regional forum in 2003 and 2004 with over 500 participants (name not given)
  • The master plan for coastal sustainability (MPCS) process has generated discussion between stakeholders

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • There is no consultation of other stakeholders in sectoral decisions.
  • At local level, there is a focus on short term income from coastal development and tourism industry

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

Stakeholder participation is encouraged by the description of the advantages in political and monetary terms of the integration with the MPCS; public participation is encouraged through the definition of steps that need to be undertaken to participate in the whole planning process

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

Master Plan for Coastal Sustainability (MPCS)

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Spain is considered to vary between level 2 and level 5

  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

Regionally, the level of public participation is also between level 2 and level 5

  • Level 2 - committees for the main purpose of engineering support;
  • Level 3 - informed but no channel for feedback;
  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken

Sweden

Stakeholder identification

Stakeholders are identified through lists of stakeholders, available at municipal and regional level

Stakeholder involvement

Stakeholders are involved through direct invitation from the planning authorities

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

The main groups of stakeholders are environmental, outdoor, recreation and other NGO's, associations of landowners, fishers, Central and regional governmental agencies are also involved in the planning process, owners of summer houses

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

At a very early stage, usually from the initiation or planning stages.

Visions and or strategies for the future

The Swedish government presented a national strategy in 2005 for the marine environment based on a parliamentary investigation, in which stakeholders had a say. In this strategy a vision is expressed. At the municipal level there is very little coordination. Some municipalities are actively working towards ICZM, others are not.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

They are generally considered a stakeholder

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

Generally, the public is not aware of ICM. However, the awareness is increasing rapidly due to increased developments in coastal areas (wind energy plants, pipelines etc.)

Methods to initiate public participation

  • Through various media
  • Written information directly to households,
  • Municipalities arrange hearings and information meetings

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Information is available, but often it is not handed out directly, but the public has to actively search for the information. All spatial development plans have to be publicized before decisions are taken and during this period anyone can make comments to the plan.

Main improvements for public participation

More direct and active information for the stakeholders We should arrange information and awareness raising campaigns through the municipalities

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM

Public participation is voluntary, not legally required

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

The Water Framework Directive is part of the Swedish environmental code. The status of the arhus Convention in Sweden is unknown.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

Information to the general public is an important component of physical planning according to Swedish national legislation The Environmental Code and the Planning and Building Act are connected with each other. developers must consider the need for an EIA.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The national government is the main support for participation in environmental issues.

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • N19 Planeringsportalen – a common portal for geographical information for physical planning and sustainable development, where ICM is included. It is not yet public.
  • Region Skåne
  • County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland
  • the Lysekil and Gävle municipalities

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Lack of public interest
  • Lack of information. These days, too much information is circulating and it is difficult to grasp everything

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

A recent evaluation of what is happening to the Swedish coast was carried out by Boverket (The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning), with recommendations for the future

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

“Sustainable Archipelago. Environment and management program for the archipelago of Östergötland and Kalmar. Problems, goals and actions”. Carried out by the County Administrative Board of Östergötland and Kalmar in cooperation with organisations and the archipelago community in 1999

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in Sweden is considered to be approximately level 5 to level 6

  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken;
  • Level 6 - real negotiation between stakeholders and decision-makers;

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

In the regions, the level of public participation is between level 4 and level 6

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken;
  • Level 6 - real negotiation between stakeholders and decision-makers

United Kingdom

Stakeholder identification

Through a variety of ad hoc methods. The following methods are mentioned: Local knowledge, publicity in the media, a local forum, through a research group, directory searches, through statutory and non-statutory responsibility, through regulatory involvement in the coastal zome and also through use of the coastal zone, educational or non-educational interest in the coastal zone, natural and historical protection of the coastal zone.

Stakeholder involvement

Stakeholders are involved through letters, questionnaires, workshops, stakeholder representation on steering groups, membership of local forum, nationally through jurisdictional professional involvement (statutory agencies) or through issue-orientated issues, regionally and locally through forums.

It is worth noting that stakeholder participation, and particularly public participation in local government has been a feature of the UK’s Modernising Government initiative. As a result of the Local Government Act 2000 local authorities have a well-being power which includes social well-being. To exercise this power, authorities have to produce community strategies – sounds great BUT these tend to focus on health and education and coastal issues rarely get a look in!

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process

NGO's, statutory agencies, local interest groups, land managers or owners, industry, elected representatives, borough councils, Royal Yachting Association, British Marine Federation, fisheries, ports, renewable energy, tourism, educational organisations, academic institutions, conservation bodies, recreational users, the general public

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved

Stakeholders get involved early, but stakeholders are usually involved later in national projects than in local projects.

Visions and or strategies for the future

DEFRA (the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has produced a draft coastal strategy, however the strategy is presently out for review. Several other ‘Futures’ have been published, but these do not interlink or with the UK national ICZM framework. Several local visions have been produced as well.

In your country, is the public generally considered to be a stakeholder or are they a separate group?

A majority of experts see the public as a stakeholder. Other replies stress that although the public is an important group, they should be treated differently than organized stakeholders: The views of individuals need to be sought in a different way (consultation through various methods, including public meetings) to the organised groups (who can be involved in membership based structures). This is usually also done in practice.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues

The public certainly have a heightened awareness of the importance of environmental management (climate change, floods and indeed the current water shortage in the UK). However, in terms of the specifics of the coast and of ICM, awareness is generally much lower.

Methods to initiate public participation

Involvement through dissemination of information and feedback

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects

Yes, through a variety of websites. However it is doubted by some experts whether the general public uses these websites to gather information.

Main improvements for public participation

  • there should be better joint working on consultation arrangements with stakeholders on the different coastal plans required by European and national legislation. There is often a risk of consultation fatigue when different planning processes come back to ask similar questions at different times.
  • better involvement of local authorities
  • better education on ICM

Manage, where possible, the media as an important channel of public awareness and information Don't use terms such as ICZM, instead use practical issues and examples

Is ICM participation in your country mostly voluntary or defined by law?

Public participation is voluntary, not legally required

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention

Both the Water Framework Directive and the Arhus convention are implemented and used in practice.

National legislation concerning environmental participation

  • Local Government Act 2000
  • EIA and SEA legislation
  • The Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • Local Authorities are audited (Audit Commission) on compliance on publication participation

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities

The national government and the EU are cited by experts as the main supporters of ICZM

Good practices concerning ICM participation

  • North West Coastal Forum
  • Sefton Coast Partnership
  • Hamble Estuary Partnership
  • River Hamble Streamlined Consents Group
  • Solent Forum
  • Hampshire County Council Key Area Working Groups
  • Solway Firth Partnership, Moray Firth Partnership, Highland Council Atlantic Coast
  • Project/ National –
  • Wales Coastal and Maritime Partnership

Local examples:

  • Ceredigion Marine Heritage Coast
  • Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
  • Severn Estuary Partnership

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation

  • Lack of resources
  • Consultation fatigue
  • Inability of experts and academics to communicate to non-expert audiences,
  • Inconsistent consultation mechanisms urbanisation of population - lack of identification with local environment
  • Lack of simple information for the general public

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement

Some projects are being discussed first by a group of key stakeholders (usually statutory) and then once the structure is confirmed wider stakeholder consultation is undertaken. This focuses discussion and enables informed discussion.

Work of non-government organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society in raising public awareness and participation, bodies such as the National Trust (and Friends of the National Trust) important in securing local involvement along coasts with extensive NT land. Information dissemination to the public is highly active. Good budget for ICM research and education.

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process

  • ICREW, i-Marq, Bluewater, Durham Heritage Coast – ongoing activity funded by Durham County Council.
  • COREPOINT – INTERREG III
  • NE English stocktake (Countryside Agency)

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in the UK is considered to vary between level 4 and level 5

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken

Average national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Regional level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3

The level of public participation in the UK at regional level is considered to vary between level 4 and level 5

  • Level 4 - consultation i.e. opinions asked;
  • Level 5 - advisory role where advice is actually taken

Conclusions

Stakeholder identification In most cases, stakeholders are identified on an ad hoc basis, either through local knowledge, through the network of others already involved in the project or through known organized stakeholders such as NGOs, networks, clubs and societies. Some states (France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK) use national, regional or local stakeholder lists, some nations have public invitations, for instance in local newspapers. Ad hoc stakeholder identification seems to be no better or worse than formal identification in terms of level of public participation. Several states (France, Germany and the UK mention this specifically) have a permanent forum on the highest level of appropriate organisation (usually national level, but for instance Belgium has one region (Flemish region) with a coast, so in this case the forum is at regional level).

Methods for stakeholder involvement Methods to involve stakeholders vary immensely between member states and most answers indicate that this varies widely within each member state as well. EIA procedures are often mentioned as well as work groups and forums. These are used in the process of public participation, but are in themselves methods to involve new stakeholders as well. Further information on methods used to involve stakeholder in an ICM process seems useful.

Main groups of stakeholders involved in the ICM process The main categories of stakeholders are similar throughout Europe. These are authorities at different levels (local, regional and national), environmental and/or conservation NGOs, academics, recreation and fishermen at the top of the list. Other stakeholders are: Harbour authorities, shipping, consultants, energy sector, sand & gravel industry, agriculture, resident groups, drinking water industry, general public, land owners and educational organisations. Italy has an exceptional answer, only coastal tourist operators are listed as stakeholders.

Stage of the ICM process where stakeholders usually get involved Most experts agree that the stage of stakeholder involvement differs per project. Several experts (in Ireland, Italy and UK) mentioned that stakeholders were usually earlier involved in local or regional projects than in national projects. Replies also indicated that different types of stakeholders were approached at differing stages. First, administrative bodies were consulted, then organized institutions from industry, academia and NGOs and last, the general public. Similarly, the level of involvement of organized stakeholders is greater than non-organized stakeholders. In the words of one expert “institutions are stakeholders, but stakeholders are more numerous than institutions”. Although ICZM experts generally realize that the public needs to be involved as a stakeholder, this is not always done in (government) practice. Especially at local level, informal stakeholders may have an unexpected influence and need to be included. Public participation tends to be greater in smaller projects, this is a trend that occurs in most states. As an example, only organized stakeholders are included in the creation of a national ICM strategy.

Despite these differences between local and national projects, organized and non-organized stakeholders and between types of stakeholders, there are significant differences between countries. Countries that have high levels of public participation also involve stakeholders earlier.

National strategies for the future France, Spain, Poland and Belgium indicate that national strategies are under development. Replies from the UK and from the Netherlands indicate there are no national visions, but there are one or more local or regional visions. Greece and Italy clearly indicated there was no national vision or strategy. Experts from the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal and Germany indicated there was a strategy, but questioned the public basis (the amount of participation) of that vision.

The public as a stakeholder The public is considered to be a stakeholder in Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK. Poland is in transition, where the authorities are beginning to recognize the public as a stakeholder. The public is considered a separate group in Belgium, Germany, France and Italy. In the Netherlands 2 replies indicated that the public is not a stakeholder, the third disagreed. In Portugal this is reversed, 3 replies said the public is a stakeholder, one reply disagrees. There seems to be a gap between expert opinion and ICM practice however, as the public generally does not participate in the same way as organized stakeholders do.

Distrust from the public towards authorities on coastal matters is reported in Poland and Greece. In Poland the non-democratic and highly centralized past is explicitly cited as the main reason for low awareness and participation levels and for general distrust of authorities. The reason for distrust in Greece is unknown.

Public awareness of ICM and coastal issues Most experts (34 of 38) indicate that the public is not or only minimally aware of ICM. Only four experts from Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the UK mention more than minimal awareness. However, most experts agree that the importance of coastal issues are widely acknowledged, but that the public simply do not recognize it as ICM. In most countries, lack of awareness and/or lack of interest by the public is reported as an obstacle. This is the most commonly mentioned obstacle to the successful implementation of ICZM.

Several experts from the UK report consultation fatigue. This is an interesting point, that suggests that there is such a thing as too much consultation and participation for the public. Even though this is not an issue (yet) in most countries, this is an interesting point that needs further discussion.

Methods to initiate public participation The general public is usually involved in two ways. One is broad dissemination and education, using a variety of media. This raises awareness and hopefully participation on a broad basis. The other focuses on a targeted audience (locals) and specific, local coastal issues. This audience is then shown the importance of their input and hopes to involve the audience on these local issues.

Availability of information on ICM and coastal projects There are three types of information that can be distinguished that target the public: First, basic information on ICZM, the importance of ICZM, public participation, etc. This type of information is widely available on the internet, usually through ICZM projects and or coastal organisations. In Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden there is a focus on this type of public outreach. Second, detailed information on specific issues of one ICZM project. This information is usually targeted at a local audience and therefore not as broadly available outside the targeted audience. However, much information can be found online. Third, technical information such as technical maps, legal status, spatial plans, specific reports and future policy. This information is usually created and gathered by government institutions, at local level for local plans or at national level for larger scales. This type of information is not widely available. National laws on freedom of information exist, but government institutes are usually reactive in providing information instead of proactive. Furthermore, a wide gap is reported between legal obligations and practice. Information is technically available, but this is usually not accessed because access is not facilitated by the authorities. Information is too technical or citizens do not know that information is available. Experts from Greece, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal mention this specifically.

Main improvements for public participation Most answers focus on information dissimination, education, the use of the media, focusing on specific local issues and some on political will. Improvements per country can be found in the state of the art chapter.

Legal requirements for public participation in ICZM In Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the UK, ICM participation is voluntary. Belgium and the Netherlands are in a transition, where parts of ICM participation is defined by law.

National implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Århus Convention Most countries have implemented these directives, although some experts indicate that implementation is not yet fully complete. Greece and Italy form exceptions; the status of these directives in both states is unclear.

National legislation concerning environmental participation All countries have implemented EIA and in some cases EAE procedures in some form. However, many question the effectiveness of the implementation. The problem lies with the way legislation is carried out; just the fact that the necessary legislation exists does not mean that it is implemented correctly. In practice, consultation is often minimal or not enforced. The Uk in particular seems to go further than other nations, while Greece and Italy seem to have minimal implementation.

There is some form of legal construction for public consultation for large coastal projects everywhere, usually in the form of EIA public participation meetings. Some countries, notably the UK, Sweden and Ireland, go further. In countries where participation is low, legislation is similar to other countries, but there seems to be a gap between coastal practice and legal instrumentation which implements public participation. The legal instruments are available, but these are rarely used in practice.

Legal support for participation in environmental issues from the authorities Most experts agree that the main driver of participation in environmental issues is the European Union, with a few exceptions. These are the Dutch regional governments (provinces) and the Swedish and English national governments.

Good practices in ICM participation Every country can name some good examples of ICZM, even though what exactly constitutes a good example is subjective. A list of good practices in ICM has been constructed using the replies from the survey, see appendix 1.

Obstacles to the implementation of public participation In most countries, lack of awareness and/or lack of interest by the public is reported as the main obstacle. This is the most commonly mentioned obstacle to the successful implementation of ICZM.

Lack of awareness and/or lack of public interest is most often mentioned (10 replies), other problems include lack of resources/funding (2x), lack of common policy/strategy (2x), problems with local or national governments (2x), lack of (good) communication from policy and/or science to the public (2x), bureaucracy, legacy of previous failed projects, inadequacy of political & technical communities. Several replies from the UK mention consultation fatigue.

The lack of public interest reported may be due to lack of awareness, but the consultation fatigue reported in the UK is an indicator that there is a limit to the amount of public interest, even when information is readily available. This means that either the quality of communication is lacking, or that the general public is simply not interested in the issue. A discussion on a maximum level of public participation for both policy makers and the public is needed as well as improved quality of communication.

Measures to ensure effective public and stakeholder involvement Responses from Greece, Italy and one response from the UK indicated that no measures were being taken. This response from the UK is exceptional; all other responses from the UK mention indicate that a lot of work is being done. Most other replies mention either a legal framework for participation or communication methods

Case studies that promote participation in the ICM process These case studies have been combined with good practices into appendix 1

Áverage national level of public participation, based on the levels of public participation as discussed in paragraph 1.3 Table 3 shows the level of public participation as perceived by the national ICZM experts. The levels are based on Sherry Arnsteins levels of public participation, as outlined in paragraph 3.3.

Country perceived level
Belgium 2-4
Germany 3-5
Spain 2-3
France 1-4
Greece 1-2
Ireland 2-4
Italy 4
Netherlands 4-5
Poland 3-4
Portugal 4-5
Sweden 4-6
UK 3-5

The most striking the levels of public participation in the table are not very different between countries. All countries are in middle range of levels (levels 3 to 5), even though previous questions in the questionnaire indicated larger differences between countries.

In Europe, participation most often occurs at Level 4, generally seen as attitude surveys, neighbourhood meetings and public hearings. Whilst a valid step towards full participation, consultation alone means that there is no guarantee that “citizen concerns and ideas will be taken into account”. It is important to recognise that consultation is not full participation.

Only in some cases, full participation in ICM decision making exists, usually in the form of partnerships. These are especially common in the UK. In a partnership, the power is shared by “negotiation between citizens and stakeholders”. Planning and decision making tasks are carried out through bodies like “joint policy boards”, “planning committees” and other mechanisms that might enforce such a partnership. They work best with an “organized power base” in the region or community where meetings can be held, finances can be taken care of and where the group can do business with its employees (lawyers, technicians etc.). The key to effective partnership is good organization and planning.

Success factors

Promising strategies

Information dissimination to general public Public participation is most successful with an informed public that realizes the importance of successful coastal management. Information and awareness raising campaigns have been launched in most ENCORA states, but this is work in progress that needs to be continued.

Organised stakeholders as a first step of public participation For many authorities, organised stakeholders (such as sectoral organisations and NGO’s) are a much better participation partner than non-organised stakeholders (the general public and non-organised sectoral stakeholders). Organised stakeholders are generally more aware of the issues involved, have more resources to be part of the consultation process, and are easier to involve than non-organised stakeholders.

Targeted information campaign for relevant authorities The role of authorities at all levels in ICZM is twofold. First, they are a stakeholder, but their main role is to supervise the participation process. In this role, authorities are also often the initiator and main driver behind the participation process. Raising awareness in politicians and civil servants of the importance and specifically the advantages of public participation a factor for success.

Low level project more likely to involve public Several experts in the questionnaire indicate that small and local coastal projects often involve the general public more than large and national projects. Therefore it would be logical to start advances in public participation in small and local projects, before implementing those advances in larger projects.

Formalize participation in stages The state of the art shows that in practice, public participation is often divided into three different stages. First, (other) authorities are involved by the initiators. Second, organized stakeholders such as sectoral organisations and NGO’s are involved. Third, the general public is involved. Formalising these stages into legislation may be a way to streamline and/or focus public participation. More specifically, it is a method to efficiently govern public participation, it is also a method to prevent more unrealistic ideas from the public, as the authorities and organized stakeholders have given a framework of options to choose from.

Accept that there is a limit to participation Current conventions and legislation mentions public participation as a goal, but does not set a limit to the amount of participation. However, there is a natural limit as several replies from the UK report consultation fatigue. Apparently there is a limit to the amount of time and energy members of the public are willing to spend on participation. Although most states (including the UK) may not have reached this limit yet, this may be expected in the future.

See also

The main author of this article is Kreiken, Wouter
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