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Mare Nostrum Releases its Final Repot on “Legal-Institutional Instruments for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Mediterranean”

Tuesday, 19 February 2019
The third and final report of Mare Nostrum has been issued and provides an overview of the Project, along with a description of the activities that were carried out within its framework, and their corresponding findings. A toolkit of alternative instruments is also included. The final text of the Report comprises of three parts.

Part I introduces an overall account of the project. It includes a detailed presentation of all cross-border cooperation activities and findings, as well as description of the capitalization initiative which have been implemented or proposed though the course of the Mare Nostrum project, with a view to achieving an improved management and implementation of ICZM principles. Notably, chapter 3 of Part I refers to Cross-border Cooperation and underlines the challenges the Project faced throughout its course.

More specifically, the cooperation between Greece and Turkey regarding the Evros Delta has proven to be problematic. The bilateral joint committee that was agreed between the two countries met only one or twice and has proven to be insufficient. Moreover, the lack of meaningful cooperation has resulted in a lack of coordination of environmental data. The above-mentioned, along with the variation of the countries’ levels of commitment has also been an important aspect taken into account. Thus, although Turkey is not a signatory to the ICZM Protocol (and, naturally, not bound by EU law either),the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning is leading a process to in-corporate ICZM principles into national and local planning and environmental legislation. - This, however, does not alter the fact that Greece, as a signatory to the ICZM Protocol, starts from a different baseline when preparing ICZM policy and regulations.

Furthermore, the report refers to the cross-border cooperation on environmental issues between Israel and Jordan. The Intense use and development on the coast puts stress on the environment and biodiversity of the area. Presently, only 12km of the 40km stretch of coastline is open to public, since most of the inaccessible parts of the coast are occupied by industrial and port activities. In addition, Israel is planning to build a new airport 100m from the Jordanian border, a prospect which raises serious concerns for Jordanians about impacts on the region. The Report calls for the continuation and support of joint initiatives, such as the Southern Israel-Jordan Environmental Forum, which will hopefully create a networking platform with a view to encouraging cross-border environmental collaboration.

In Part II of the Project, a cross-national comparative analysis of the frameworks in the partner countries of Mare Nostrum is provided, with additional insights from other Mediterranean countries, throughout the course of the Project. Through evaluation of the ICZM Protocol, the national frameworks and local case studies, the drafters of the Report proceeded to detect a set of criteria which would ultimately guide the Report’s comparative analysis. Through an assessment of these criteria, regulatory tools have been identified, as well as several implementation gaps between laws and regulations and the situation as reflected in practice. This Part of the Report is the most lengthy one, as it constitutes a thorough analysis of policies and legal frameworks of all Mediterranean countries participating in the Project. At the end of the Report, the drafters comment on the out-come of every state analysis and proceed to formulate a comparative analysis.

Part III of the Report provides a toolkit of alternative instruments. Τhis toolkit is made up of a list of recommendation and associated regulatory tools, which might assist in minimizing the legal-institutional gap in Mediterranean coastline management. It includes chapters on ICZM terms and legislation, Coastline delineation, Coastal Public Land, Coastal Setback Zone, Accessibility, Compliance and Enforcement, Participation and Information, Cross-Border Cooperation as well as the Managing of Climate Change. The recommendations found therein span the supranational, national and local levels and are relevant to all countries, and therefore, not being limited to the States taking part in the Project.


Source: Mare Nostrum
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