Smith T.F, Myers S., Thomsen D.C, Rosier J.. 2011. Integrated Coastal Zone Management & Planning.. Marine Resources Management.


Provides an overview of key concepts and challenges of integrated coastal zone management and planning in Australia.

Geographic Focus: 


Key Findings: 

Australia’s coastal areas are heavily impacted by human activity. Processes of degradation are widespread and pressures are continuing to increase. Nonetheless, Australia’s response has been poor as evidenced through various inquiry’s and state of the environment reporting. A key challenge for ICZM is to reduce the vulnerability of coastal areas within several crucial areas. These issues and challenges are discussed in this chapter against the contextual background of coastal management and planning. Contemporary methods to ICZM include sustainability principles, equity issues, biodiversity recognition and the need for a precautionary approach, along with increased participation and systems understanding. Nonetheless, the intensification of challenges faced by coastal managers will continue to test attempts at management and planning.


Many of the contemporary methods or approaches to ICZM are based on principles and conceptual models. The single most important challenge for adaptive learning organisations is to find a way to move beyond theory to practice, and to expand influence to the institutional and systems level. While the main principles and theories appear to be sound and to have general consensus, commensurate action seems often to be lacking. It could be argued that a significant contributing factor to this situation is the necessary will to act, heavily influenced by politics and/or vested interests, as well as the largely fragmented and discontinuous institutional structures and processes applied to governance. Adaptive learning practitioners cannot wait for these issues to be resolved as preconditions for effective learning and action. Rather adaptive learning frameworks need to be structured in such a way as to challenge and open up these areas of stagnation and resistance through transformative mechanisms that will be informed by context and scale.