Actors in Coastal Governance

Coastal governance includes all the processes and institutional arrangements through which ‘actors’ (decision makers and stakeholders) influence outcomes on the coast. Diverse actors play a role, formally or informally, in coastal governance. Actors do not function alone but in existing networks and in legal, policy, political, social, technological, economic and cultural contexts. Actors can collaborate with each other to share power and available resources, such as knowledge and funds. They can also work against each other to pursue
competing coastal objectives.

Below is a list of actors in coastal governance that can be used: in conjunction with the social network analysis tool; as a starting point for deciding on workshop participants; or for determining key respondents in a consultation process.

Council of Australian Governments

Federal agencies

  • Climate change and energy efficiency
  • Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

State agencies

  • Planning
  • Infrastructure
  • Environment
  • Conservation
  • Sustainability

Local governments

Research organisations

  • IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change)
  • CSIRO (including Wealth from Oceans and Climate Adaptation Flagships)
  • IOCI (Indian Ocean Climate Initiative)
  • NCCARF (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility)
  • Universities

General public


  • Coastal advocacy groups – e.g., National Seachange Taskforce, Australian Coastal Society
  • Industry groups – e.g., Insurance Council of Australia
  • Professional organisations – e.g., Urban Development Institute of Australia
  • Advisory councils, e.g., Coasts and Climate Change Council
  • NRM groups
  • Local government associations
  • Aboriginal Land and Sea Councils


  • Developers
  • Financiers
  • Insurers
  • Media

Informal networks

  • Social media
  • Influential individuals

References for Actors in Coastal Governance

Adger, W. N. (2006).  Vulnerability.. Global Environmental Change..
Berkes, F., & Seixas. C. S. (2005).  Building resilience in lagoon social-ecological systems.. Ecosystems..
Berkes, F. (2009).  Berkes, F. 2009. Evolution of co-management: role of knowledge generation, bridging organizations and social learning. Journal of Environmental Management. 90: 1692-1702.. Journal of Environmental Management. 90,
Rist, S., Chidambaranathan M., Escobar C., Wiesmann U., & Zimmermann A. (2007).  Moving from sustainable management to sustainable governance of natural resources: The role of social learning processes in rural India, Bolivia and Mali. Journal of Rural Studies. 23,
Stocker, L., Kennedy D., Kenchington R.A., & Merrick K. (2012).  Sustainable coastal management?. In, Kenchington, R., Stocker, L. & Wood, D. (Eds) Sustainable Coastal Management and Climate Change: Lessons from Regional Australia.
Wescott, G. (2012).  Disintegration or disinterest? Coastal and marine policy in Australia. In, Crowley, K. & Walker, K. (Eds) Environmental Policy Failure The Australian Story.
De Freitas, D. M., Smith T.F., & Stokes A. (2014).  Planning for uncertainty: local scale coastal governance. Ocean & Coastal Management.. 86,
Tsamenyi, M., & Kenchington R.A. (2012).  Australian oceans policymaking. Coastal Management . 40(2), 119-132.
Stocker, L., Kennedy D., Metcalf S., Dambacher J., Middle G., & Wood D. (2011).  Modelling coastal planning in southwest Western Australia: complexity, collaboration and climate adaptation. MODSIM 2011 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand. In, Chan, F., Marinova, D. & Anderssen, R.S. (Eds), 2996-3002.
Zafrin, S., Rosier J., & Baldwin C. (In Press).  Queensland’s coastal planning regime: the extent of participation in coastal governance. Planning Practice & Research .
Clarke, B., & Harvey N. (2013).  Wither coastal management in Australia – a call for national leadership. In, Conley, D., Masselink, G., Russell, P.E. & O’Hare, T. (Eds) Proceedings 12th International Coastal Symposium. Journal of Coastal Research(Special Issue 65), 915-920.
Stocker, L., & Wood D. (2014).  Coastal Governance Theme Fact Sheet.

Contacts for Actors in Coastal Governance