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SHAPE project

Shaping an Holistic Approach to Protect the Adriatic Environment between coast and sea
SHAPE project aims at the development of a multilevel and cross-sector governance system, based on an holistic approach and on an integrated management of the natural resources, risk's prevention and conflicts resolution among uses and users of the Adriatic coast and sea.

Project activities promote the application and the successful implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol in the Mediterranean and the Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Adriatic region.





SHAPE project aims at the sustainable development of the Adriatic Region strengthening the protection and enhancement of the marine and coastal environment. Through an integrated approach, it promotes the strengthening of the institutional capacity to preserve and manage natural and cultural resources and risks' prevention.

The general objective is the setting-up of a multilevel and cross-sector governance system assuring the rational use of the Adriatic Sea and its resources and able to solve conflicts among different uses. Repeatable governance models will be developed. In line with the European strategies, the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean and the Roadmap for MSP are the main reference and their application in the Adriatic region will be tested.

Croatian, Italian, Slovenian and Montenegrin Governments have signed ICZM Protocol and its ratification is expected. SHAPE project will help its better understanding and successful implementation.
Specific objectives are:


  • to make human activities in coastal and marine areas more sustainable; 
  • to manage conflicts among concurrent uses and support the decision-making process;
  • to strengthen the role of ICZM in the whole Adriatic region and to prepare the ground for National and local strategies;
  • to promote MSP in the Adriatic Region according to the EU key principles;
  • to reach an high level of coherence between planning in coastal areas and planning in maritime spaces, binding ICZM and MSP;
  • to fill the lack of adequate legal framework (such as integrated coastal strategies) and improve the existing tools;
  • to improve the capacity building of institutions and authorities responsible for coastal management and marine issues;
  • to ensure coordination among institutions and authorities responsible for coastal and sea management upgrading existing governance structures for better integration and cooperation;
  • to enhance the stakeholders involvement, the information flow among various stakeholders and to strengthen the links among actors and key institutions;
  • to improve the public participation process, through encouraging public participation in coastal management processes, and to increase the public awareness;
    to share data and experience as a common base of knowledge allowing the coherent and conscious governance of the coastal and marine environment;
  • to develop a coherent picture of the Adriatic sea and contribute to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET) and to the objectives of the Marine Framework Strategy;
  • to coordinate the activities in the Adriatic Sea with other initiatives in the European Seas and Oceans, allowing the creation of an European knowledge network;
  • to create an Adriatic network where "put on the table" specific experience and knowledge promoting synergies and avoiding duplications between different projects (especially the ones financed by the IPA CBC Adriatic Programme).


The activities of SHAPE project are structured in five Work Packages (WP):

WP1 - Crossborder Project Management and Coordination
WP2 - Communication and dissemination
WP3 - Integrated Coastal Zone Management
WP4 - "Shipping" towards Maritime Spatial Planning
WP5 - Within land and sea

Partners will ensure the long last effects of the project after the end of financing thanks to the creation of a concrete Adriatic network where sharing and debating all the specific experience and knowledge to promote synergies. It will represent a sound tool to support them and the actions they would like to manage in order to go ahead in implementing project objectives. Partners entered SHAPE are fully aware that it will lead to the definition of a concrete instrument to plan a new strategy for the management of coastal-marine areas and are committed to define all the elements able to create a real frame of a shared collaboration on those issues.

Thanks to SHAPE the lack of adequate legal framework and the not coordination of the existing tools, that were at the basis of the project conception, will be overcome and partners will be able to continue implementing and enhancing project objectives by the insertion of SHAPE results and principles in their own local and regional governance policies. SHAPE will also allow to create tools useful for ICZM and MSP that could be used after the project by the partners and all the Adriatic actors as a precious "toolbox" for decision makers. The involvement of partners at different level (over national, national, regional, local) will assure the duration of the project results, making aware the policy makers of the project benefits. This will assure to the project a concrete long lasting effect in the interested area, and partners aim to even widen it to the remaining coastal territories that have not taken part in the project. Moreover, SHAPE already fully complies with national, regional and local policies, trying to melt and harmonize them, and this will assure the sustainability of its results, general principles that are already fully inserted in partners' own policies. The sustainability of Shape will be also ensured by the participation of partners in existing associations and networks, such as the Adriatic Euroregion.

The project main outputs will be:

Outline on ICZM in the Adriatic Region, Thematic maps, Common Methodology on planning in maritime space, Analytical Reports on legal aspects, current policy and planning tools in the Adriatic Basin, a Common Gis Atlas of Adriatic Sea, Scientific Reports, Training workshops, Transnational conferences.

SHAPE will also promote the strengthening of synergies and the exchange of results from various projects among a wide network of institutions, through the creation of the Adriatic Forum and the coordination with existing organisations, as the Adriatic Euroregion, other Regions in Europe and European and International institutions.

Partners in the project are:

Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Veneto Region - "Progetto Venezia" Departement

Emilia Romagna Region

Marche Region - Coastal Defence Department

Abruzzo Region - Maritime Works and Marine Water Service

Molise Regional Agency for Environmental Protection

Puglia Region - Mediterranean Department

Koper Regional Development Centre

Istria Institute for Physical Planning Region

Public Institution Priority Actions Programme

Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of civil engineering and physical planning

Montenegro Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management

Environmental Centre for Administration and Technology in Tirana


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