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Keywords: Environmental Management
Master (Environmental Management)
Chou Loke Ming
2008/2009 EnvM
Issue Date: 7-Apr-2015
Abstract: Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) is the recommended framework for enabling sustainable coastal development and improving the quality of life and general welfare of coastal populations. ICM, based on the principles of integration and coordination, represents a paradigm shift from the sectoral approach which has clearly proved to be inadequate and ineffective in managing the complex coastal issues and conflicts, very often cross-sectoral in nature and at times beyond the administrative boundaries of the coastal zones. Decades of ICM application and implementation experiences has generated significant literature, numerous case studies, useful insights and practical feedback from initiatives around the world. Furthermore, it has confirmed the potential benefits and high levels of effectiveness that can be achieved through the ICM framework, with the right combination of factors. More than ever, there is a pressing need for developing an ICM strategy for Mauritius. The following considerations indicate that an integrated coastal management framework is very much needed not only for sound coastal governance but more importantly, for the overall socioeconomic progress of the country, and arresting the accelerating decline in coastal environmental quality: • Sectoral management approaches have blatantly shown to be ineffective and inadequate, as evidenced by the severity of the coastal issues and resource conflicts. • Tourism (coastal and reef-based tourism) is one of the pillars of the country’s economy and with the major expansion projects in that sector, it will contribute much more significantly to the island GDP over the coming years • The coastal areas, beaches and lagoons are major sources of leisure and recreation for the local population. • The coastal areas are involved in some cultural / religious ceremonies • The whole island is considered a coastal zone and therefore impacts of land-based and upstream activities renders coastal management more complex • Other proposed large-scale development projects will directly involve coastal resources. Examples are the aquaculture projects, the seafood hub project and the Integrated Resort Scheme – Luxury Villas project. These indeed reinforce the need for an effective integrated management framework. The opening section of the dissertation will provide an overview and an introduction to the ICM concept. The literature review will encompass ICM initiatives worldwide to identify the factors that contribute to potential success and failure of ICM projects. The actual coastal management context of Mauritius, especially the coastal issues and conflicts, the actual administrative and legal frameworks, and the inadequacies and inefficiencies of the present set-up will be thoroughly analysed and presented. The successful and well-documented cases of ICM implementation in Xiamen and Bali will serve as relevant case studies to understand how the ICM has been applied to deliver significant benefits. Xiamen is definitely an ICM landmark case (‘classic case’) for portraying the enormous potential offered by ICM, as evidenced by the extensive transformation which the city underwent in a relatively short time frame of around a decade. A lot of similarities exist between the two islands of Bali and Mauritius in terms of the major contribution of coastal tourism to the GDP, coastal areas as a major source of recreation for locals, cultural / religious ceremonies involving the seas, serious coastal erosion issues and heavy impacts of land-based / upstream activities on coastal zones. The literature review section will thus provide a solid base and useful insights for developing an appropriate ICM strategy for Mauritius, while taking into consideration the local characteristics and settings of Mauritius in priority. In brief, it can be said that the institutional and legal backbone framework to support a future ICM initiative already exist to a significant extent in Mauritius, but are rendered inefficient by issues such as lack of functional integration, financial and technical under-capacity, ineffective processes, lack of enforcement (for legislation) and other institutional failure issues. Therefore, building on the previous sections, an integrated management framework, most appropriate and most efficient in the context of Mauritius for enabling sound coastal governance and sustainable coastal development, will be presented in Chapter 5.
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