At the launching of the project activities PAP/RAC invited partners dealing with the integrative approaches to go further and to jointly produce a document which will provide a guidance to the policy makers in all Mediterranean countries to better integrate coastal, river basin and aquifer management. The result of this initiative is the Integrative Methodological Framework (IMF).
Another contemporary challenge in which methodological guide was needed was the requirement of the ICZM Protocol to the Mediterranean countries to develop their National Coastal ICZM Strategies. In order to reveal the best practices an analysis of relevant national strategies, the experience of which could be useful for the National ICZM Strategies in the Mediterranean, has been undertaken. Guidelines were drafted and tested during the development of the national ICZM Strategy for Montenegro and Algeria, lessons learned were applied and the document was finalised.
The Integrative Methodological Framework (IMF) is a comprehensive methodology for integrated and sustainable management of the Mediterranean ecosystems constituted by coastal zones, river basins and coastal aquifers. It was prepared by converging the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), and more recently coastal aquifers and groundwater management approaches into a unified methodology. The IMF is a joint initiative by PAP/RAC, GWP-Med and UNESCO-IHP, prepared under the direction of an Integrative Working Group (IWG) composed of international experts and partners professionals, all with extensive experience in their respective fields across the Mediterranean region and globally.
It is built around two major sections: the Concept, which provides an insight into theoretical and methodological background, and the Operational Guidelines of practical nature, the latter setting out a 5-stage process to guide the preparation of coastal plans in the Mediterranean and beyond. The process provides a step-by–step guide to an integrated planning, and begins with the very start of the planning process - “Establishment”, through to implementation and the facilitation of change – “Realising the Vision”. The process describes objectives, activities and outputs of each stage, proposing methodologies, tools and examples.
This IMF was successfully tested in development of three coastal plans: the Integrated Resource Management Plan for Buna/Bojana Area (Albania/Montenegro), the Coastal Plan for Reghaïa (Algeria), and the Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County (Croatia). The Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County had a specific focus on climate variability and change.
Within the MedPartnership project a special attention was given to the preparation of the national ICZM strategies, as requested by the Article 18 of the ICZM Protocol. PAP/RAC developed the “Guidelines for the Preparation of the National ICZM Strategies” based on the experiences from the different, environment-related strategies throughout the world.
Two methodological documents resulted from ClimVar project: one for integrating adaptation into coastal planning and management, and the other, providing guidance on socio-economic assessments of the potential costs caused by climate variability and change. Both themes are of great importance for policy makers of the Mediterranean coasts.
“Guidelines for Adapting to Climate Variability and Change along the Mediterranean Coast“ is a key project document that provides information on how the adaptation to climate variability and change (CVC) can be integrated into the ICZM process. These guidelines also provide a more detailed understanding of different key CVC aspects in the Mediterranean coastal zones. They take the reader through the different stages of ICZM, showing how CVC is relevant to each of these stages, and what actions are needed to address it.
The Guidelines have also laid out the lessons learned from the experience with CVC in specific locations in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, providing a critical review on current adaptation and mitigation efforts. These experiences should be shared across the ICZM community and used to improve future plans, especially since there is lack of experience with the implementation of actual climate policies and measures.
The project acknowledged the fact that expressing potential damages by climate variability and change (CVC) in monetary terms may be the most powerful tool for raising awareness. This is the information that policy makers need, but due to the short-term cycles of policy makers, it is necessary that this information is understood by the general public as well. The complexity of CVC has resulted in the absence of a common methodology for estimating its social and economic impacts, nor the methodology for evaluating the adaptation response options. For these reasons the project came out with preparing the Guidance that draw on the experience of making assessments on environmental and socio-economic impacts of CVC, in the context of vulnerable coastal zones in the Mediterranean.
By outlining the processes for making such assessments and giving further insights through examples, the outputs will likely provide key information for the preparation of coastal plans and strategies. This Guidance is therefore not intended to provide in-depth practical information on the use of specific methodologies, but rather to aid the appropriate use of such assessments in coastal management and planning.