Uncontrolled Development Seen as Key Impediment
to Mediterranean Coastline Preservation
HAIFA, Israel, 11 March 2013 – Uncontrolled development along the coastline is the
most common problem faced by Mediterranean Basin countries that seek to pursue coastline
preservation, according to participants at the opening conference of the EU-funded
Mare Nostrum Project
The four-day event emphasized the fact that countries that wish to implement the
integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) Protocol of the Barcelona Convention
serious challenges in tackling on-the-ground realities.
Some thirty representatives from Greece, Malta, Israel, Jordan, Spain, Turkey, Italy
and Germany participated last week in the event, which marked the launch of Mare
Nostrum, which explores new ways of preserving the Mediterranean coastline.
Participants included representatives from leading research institutes, city governments,
environmental NGOs and port operators. The conference addressed the legal-institutional
gap in the implementation of existing policies on ICZM.
"We found that there is a big disparity between ICZM principles and the situation
in reality," said Technion Prof. Rachelle Alterman, the initiator and coordinator
of Mare Nostrum.
“Full implementation of the ICZM Protocol requires very gradual change and intensive
learning of land ownership issues," Prof Alterman added. "For example, in implementing
the ICZM requirement of a 100 meters non-building line along the entire Mediterranean
coast. It is difficult to overcome the expectations of private land owners without
the introduction of innovative instruments."
Prof. Alterman, the founding president of the International Academic Association
on Planning, Law and Property Rights and an internationally acclaimed expert on
land-use planning and law, noted that there are major differences between countries
and even neighboring municipal authorities in the instruments used and their degrees
"ICZM is taking place at the local level. Working at the level of municipalities
and exploring how legal aspects are dealt with and how bridges and vertical integration
is made among different geographical scales and administrative levels is very interesting,"
said Zeljka Skaricic, Director of PAP/RAC
the United Nations Environmental Programme
(UNEP/MAP) Regional Centre, specializing in ICZM. "We hope to learn more about it
through Mare Nostrum because ICZM is an endeavor for all of us and implementation
remains a very big challenge."
The European Union (EU) has awarded Mare Nostrum consortium €4.3 million to explore
new ways of preserving the Mediterranean Sea and its coastline. The research is
conducted, as part of the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument - Cross-Border
Cooperation in the Mediterranean (ENPI-CBCMED)
Bridging the Legal-Institutional Gap in Mediterranean Coastline Management