Integrated Coastal Planning


It is estimated that 75 % of the world's largest cities are situated near the coastlines. In Asia, a vast majority of the population resides along the coasts where population growth rates are generally higher than the national averages. Marine based tourism and fisheries are playing increasingly important roles in the economy of many Asian countries. As more and more coastal areas turn into centers of economic activity, the ensuing 'pull factor' results in exponential coastal population growth. As a direct consequence, coastal ecosystems are coming under extreme duress.

Encroachment into protected areas and state lands remains a contentious issue in MFF countries. Populations migrating in coastal areas for better opportunites settle in statelands and develop into permanent clusters with perceived rights to these lands. This gives rise to frequent conflicts between different resource users, local communities, the private sector and government.

Proper land use planning is crucial to integrated coastal management. The health of coastal ecosystems and their overall productivity is invariably linked to proper management. Most MFF countries in the region have comprehensive laws and regulations governing land use in coastal zones. However these laws and regulations are often weakly enforced resulting in conflicts and environmentally unsustainable land use. Not all countries have integrated land use policy or strategies in place, and where they exist these strategies are not always put into practice.

For details about Actions, Outputs and Results, click [ + ]

Programmes of WorkActions/OutputsContribution to results
12. Strengthening the integration and enforcement of environmental and social safeguards in coastal land use planning
  1. Review of legal and regulatory measures governing coastal zone land use and development, and associated information sharing among coastal planners and developers.

  2. Support to the development of spatial plans for coastal zones at national and local levels, including assessing critical and vulnerable ecosystems and needs for ecosystem protection within land use zoning.

  3. Support to the formation of resolution mechanisms to deal with land-use conflicts around critical ecosystems, particularly protected areas.


  • More effective policy, legal and institutional mechanisms for inter-sectoral coordination in environmental aspects of coastal management

  • Strengthened alliances and procedures to improve environmental law enforcement and compliance

  • More inclusive development planning, appraisal, approval and monitoring processes which reflect ecosystem needs

  • Greener business plans which recognise and reflect ecosystem services

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