Hide/Show Apps

An NGO role in enhancing integrated coastal management in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: The MEDCOAST experience

2000-01-01
Ozhan, E
In the early 1990s, integrated coastal management (ICM) in the Mediterranean basin found general acceptance as an important issue both at national and international levels, and since then it has been, though slowly, steadily developed. Donor organizations such as the European Union and the World Bank, and the UNEP's Mediterranean Action Plan played catalyst roles in this development by initiating and supporting pilot projects. In 1992, the European Union launched the Mediterranean programs in which the environment, and especially the coastal environment, was considered as a priority issue. Parallel to this development, several NGO initiatives took place for public awareness on pressing coastal issues and in training and education. The idea of MEDCOAST, which is an NGO network of Euro-Mediterranean academic institutions, was born in 1990 and the new initiative was launched in two directions in 1993. One of these was the organization of the First International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment (2-5 November 1993, Antalya, Turkey), which placed strong emphasis on the management issues. The second was the development of a project proposal to the Med-Campus program of the European Union. The project, which had the title of Educational Programs in Coastal Zone Management, was selected for funding and became operational in early 1994. The first international training program organized by MEDCOAST was the MEDCOAST Institute 94: Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean. This three-week long training effort took place in August-September 1994. Since then, MEDCOAST organized eight training programs in by 1999 five different countries, which were participated by 173 professionals representing 31 countries. Development of an international Masters Degree program in ICM was the second goal of the MEDCOAST's Med-Campus project. Efforts for pursuing this goal are still continuing. This paper elaborates the potential for the NGO's contribution to training and education in the field of integrated coastal management in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea by introducing the MEDCOAST experience. Tt presents the past and planned MEDCOAST efforts and discusses the strengths and limitations of the role of NGOs at the regional scale.