Criteria for Incorporating the Guidelines of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Territorial Land Use Planning: Study Case for the Colombian Pacific Coastal Area  

Ángela López Rodríguez , Paula Cristina Sierra-Correa , Pilar Lozano-Rivera
Marine and Costal Research Institute Jose Benito Vives de Andreis-INVEMAR, Playa Salguero-Santa Marta, Colombia
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 29   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2013.03.0029
Received: 01 May, 2013    Accepted: 30 May, 2013    Published: 02 Jun., 2013
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López Rodríguez et al., 2013, Criteria for Incorporating the Guidelines of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Territorial Land Use Planning: Study Case for the Colombian Pacific Coastal Area, International Journal of Marine Science, Vol.3, No.29 225-237 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2013.03.0029)


In Colombia, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) has been implemented through the “National Environmental Policy of the Oceanic Spaces and Coastal and Insular Areas of Colombia-PNAOCI” (Acronyms in Spanish), whose guidelines have considered the need to include marine and coastal ecosystems in land use planning. ICZM, as a special planning approach, can contribute to territorial land use planning of the municipalities located in coastal areas, because it can provide guidelines for the conservation and use of ecosystems in these areas. In this work, the Colombian Pacific coastal area municipalities, which are part of the “Tropical Eastern Pacific Region” and are located between the 01°30´ and the 07°10´ latitude North and between the 77°40´ and the 82°00´ longitude West were taken as a study case. The review of their territorial land use plans was made for each one of the municipalities by means of the descriptive analysis of the biophysical, socio-economical and institutional components, seeking to explain, through the different criteria and particular and critical parameters of the coastal-marine areas, the aspects these municipalities must consider and adjust in their territorial land use planning. The criteria selected are related with aspects such as: existence of the territorial land use plan, demarcation of the coastal area, diagnosis (those aspects such as the identification of strategic marine and coastal ecosystems, high impact natural phenomenon i.e. Tsunamis, coastal erosion, oceanographic process, uses, conflicts, risk and governability aspects), zoning and prospecting. The analysis concludes that the ICZM´s principles incorporated to the territorial land use planning processes in the Colombian Pacific could be the opportunity to minimize impacts from land to sea, and generate space.

Land use planning; Integrated Coastal Zone Management; Zoning; Colombian Pacific coastal area

In general, the deterioration processes in coastal areas are evident given the little control of the human activities and the weak zoning and planning processes which do not consider the particular characteristics of these areas (Barragán, 2003; Cicin-Sain and Knecht, 1998; Clark, 1996; Chua, 1993; Kay and Alder, 2005). This situation is not different in Colombia (South America), particularly the development of Pacific coast region has been made in an unorganized way, on topics such as: i) Location of human populations in high risk areas (coastal border areas of flooding from rivers, sliding areas), ii) growth of human populations to strategic ecosystems (e.g. mangroves); iii) Development of unsustainable production activities iv) Limited access of human populations to basic services (water, power, sanitation, health), causing impacts on ecosystems. In this sense it is necessary to orient zoning and planning processes in which the management and sustainable use alternatives are identified so they contribute to avoid the deterioration of the ecosystems present in the area.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is defined as a special continuous, dynamic and participative holistic planning process, which contributes to the decision making regarding the use and protection of the coastal areas, recognizing the particular character of these areas (Cicin-Sain and Knecht, 1998; Clark, 1996; Chua, 1993). ICZM is sets as a tool that contributes to the territorial zoning. It considers among its goals the sustainable development of the ocean and coastal areas, the vulnerability reduction in the presence of natural threats of the coastal areas and its inhabitants, and the maintenance of the essential ecological processes (Farris, 2002; Kay and Alder, 2005; Stewart et al., 2003).
Several countries around the world have considered the need to incorporate the guidelines of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) into the territorial land use planning process of the coastal areas. Considering the coastal zone has specific characteristics related to natural resources, sensitive lands, hazards areas, coastal access, use priorities, and significant impacts of development (Farris, 2002; Gilman, 2002; Stewart et al., 2003; Yañez-Arancibia and Day, 2004a, b).
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International Journal of Marine Science
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