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Pi cs



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  • Before I start I’m very happy to introduce myself – I’m Tepa Suaesi the Environmental Planning Officer of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. My responsibilities are in the area of environmental impact assessment, strategic environment assessment and integrated environment assessment - the generic assessment and planning systems for the development and implementation of sound environmental management action in countries of our region. Then you may ask why I’m speaking on the subject of our symposium. Basically I’ll be sharing with you some reflections and experiences gained from observations of related national experiences on coastal management planning in PICs in the last thirty years and more so from my involvement with the development of Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management System in the last ten years. I helped translate the concepts and strategy for this system in Samoa; have facilitated and translated into Samoan coastal management plans for some 20 odd villages and seven districts of the country from 2001 – 2005.
  • In this presentation I’ll share with you some reflections of some broad types of categories of coastal management planning approaches that have emerged in Pacific Island Countries in the last thirty years; a specific discussions on the case study of Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Management Planning approach; and on experiences and lessons learned from these approaches that sought to mainstream coastal management considerations into national development planning processes.
  • I would like to think of four broad types of coastal management planning approaches that have developed so far in Pacific Island Countries in the last thirty years:
    1 – the economic or development approach
    2 – the conservation/ecosystem-based approach
    3 – the protection /engineering approach
    4 – the integrated approach
  • The economic development planning approach has been the major planning system affecting coastal areas of Pacific countries since colonialism and has intensified from the ’80s as countries became more independent and the demands of their growing population that largely resides at an average of 70% of total population in coastal areas increases economically and socially. Hence most of our development needs imposes heavy demands and pressures in terms of infrastructural development activities on our countries coastal resources and ecological services. This approach have induced significant alteration of countries coastlines and high ecological impacts through shoreline reclamations and coastal area infrastructures and operations that supports growing populations socio-economic needs. These coastal area planned areas are also highly vulnerable to climate change risks and often weakly consider essential environmental requirements. In spite of this it will continue to be a major coastal management planning approach in the coming years and decades as populations continue to increase and likewise their needs, however, it will also increases policy requirements for mainstreaming environmental and social considerations.
  • The conservation approach to coastal management planning emerged out of the unprecedented global response to critical impacts of environmental degradation and change. While it induces minor alteration of coastline and ecosystems it tends to concentrate on areas of high biodiversity value away from densely populated areas and thus difficult to support without clear and often immediate benefits to adjacent landowners and local communities. The conservation approach basically seeks to preserve coastal and marine areas of high biodiversity and key examples of these at the local levels were the Village Fisheries Reserves (VFRs), Community Conservation Areas (CCAs); the Locally Management Marine Areas (LLMAs); and the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). There were also important regional interventions that supports these coastal area conservation management areas: notably the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Project and an introductions of Integrated Coastal Zone Management concepts and process in the ‘90s.
  • With increasing urbanization and growing densely rural populations along the coastlines systems of engineered reinforcement of the coastline / coastal area were started to significantly developed from the ‘90s – basically to protect high value infrastructural assets on coastal areas that houses and drives public, social and economical services for population needs and requirements. This also a major approach to response to protecting expanding urban and rural populations assets and utilities and services from climate change impacts and disaster risks. The key systems of engineering approach mainly includes systems of coastline seawalls which also combines with systems of vegetative buffer or green zones such as coastline / foreshore bioshields.
  • The integrated management planning approach to coastal area issues have more recently emerged as a priority in the last ten years. This is a long term planning management approach that integrates the conservation, economic and social needs and requirements of coastline areas or combinations of all the first three approaches that were discussed above. The integrated approach is multidisciplinary and requires a higher level of collaboration and coordination, among different stakeholders, communities and interest groups. Whiles it is highly desirable it is extremely difficult to implement requiring fundamental changes to social and cultural practices and norms. Some well known examples of this approach that were developed in the region includes the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve approach in which about five countries of the Pacific have adopted; the more recently Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Project that seeks to integrate the social, economic and environment aspects of adapting coastline societies needs and requirements to impacts of changing climate.
  • With the previous and fourth approach I would like now to share with you the case study on Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Management Planning System that was developed in the last ten years – 2000 to this year.
  • At the outset Samoa’s Planning and Urban Management Action in 2004 or PUMA 2004’s Part 3 Section 8(b) states the national government’s mandate for developing land use and development plans that integrates environmental, social, economic, conservation and resource management considerations at the national, district, village and site specific levels. This is a key part of the legislative framework and basis for developing this coastal area planning system in Samoa.
  • Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management Planning System started with a Coastal Hazards Zone Mapping Exercise in 2000 that analyzed geological field and anecdotal data of the 1954-1999 period. The main coastal hazards zones investigates were: coastal erosion hazard zones (CEHZ), the coastal flooding hazard zones (CFHZ), the coastal landslide hazard zones (CLHZ) and coastal landslip hazard zones (CLHZ).
    This information became the basis for the formulation of Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management Strategy and consequently the first major project for its implementation in 2001 – 2007 funded by World Bank called Samoa’s Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management Planning Project (Samoa’s CIM Plan Project). Samoa’s CIM Plans Project include among other policy, legislative and technical capacity building components the major component of formulating villages and district CIM Plans for all the 200+ villages and 40+ districts on the coastlines of the country.
  • 1 – Samoa’s CIM Plans starts with government and district consultation on the concept and program requirements, these initial consultations sets the scene for village consultations and draft planning process for the respective district village communities. Once the district consultation endorses the planning program it naturally then proceeded to the first level of detail planning at each of the district’s village communities.
    2 – The next step then is government and village authorities and communities consultations and draft planning exercises individually carried out for each village of the district. These consultations includes field visits by government experts and village representatives of the entire village coastline using coastal hazards maps to ground truth and establish key environmental, social and economic issues that should be considered in the respective Village’s Coastal Infrastructure Management Plan.
    3 & 4 – Once a draft plan is in place the next steps includes the villages and districts communities consultations on their own village and district draft plans as well as circulation of these draft plans to government ministries and authorities for their reviews and comments mainly with regards to plan implications on the services they provide to support village and district communities’ development needs. Draft plans are also available for civil society organisations and regional / international organisations who are interested to review and provide constructive comments.
    5 – Once the review process matures the plans are then prepared for finalization and signing off that also includes final consultations between the government and villages and the district on comments and revisions from national and to some extend regional and international stakeholders.
    6 – The final plan formulation stage is the signing off of the Villages and District CIM Plans as one guiding planning document for both the government and the district village authorities.
    7 – The last step is implementation, monitoring and evaluation through partnerships of government ministries and authorities and local authorities.
  • Let us look at this example of an approved District CIM Plan – the Coastal Infrastructure Management Plan for the District of Aleipata Itupa i Lalo – with its villages’ CIM Plans.
  • The second substantial page and section is one of two sections that are, apart from changes to the name and identifications of the district and its villages of the plan, the same for all district and village’s CIM Plans. This section sets out the content of the plan and define the key technical terms and concepts used in the design of the plan and its planning process.
  • The first substantial page is the signing off page where village representatives signed on behalf of the district and its villages and the CEO and Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE) sign off on behalf of the national government. This is the last page to be added once the CIM Plan is finalized this page is the signing off document by the national government and representatives of village authorities of the district.

  • The third section of two pages defines the policy and programmatic framework of the plan, the guidelines for its implementation and the description of the district and its villages of the plan. The information on the policy and programmatic framework and implementation guidelines are generic for all the CIM Plans.
  • This is the last page of the third section describing the plan district and its village setting. In this case its information on Aleipata Itupa i Lalo and its villages.
  • The fourth substantial section is composed of two main sections – a table or matrix of issues, related solutions and institutional arrangements for the coastal assets management priorities of the district – in this case is on Aleipata Itupa i Lalo. This matrix is the heart of the whole plan as you can see it clearly in four columns identified the key coastal infrastructural assets issues, the prioritised potential solutions, the benefits to the community and environment of the solutions proposed and the last column guidelines for implementing proposed solutions.
  • The table is followed immediately by a spatial/aerial map of the district with layers of coastal hazards zones – flooding, erosion, landslides and landslips where relevant – with notes on key priority infrastructural assets issues arising from the assets and hazard zones relationships - both for manmade and also natural infrastructural assets – that are mapped onto locations where these issues were prominently noted during field visits of government experts and village representatives during the plan consultation and formulation.
  • The district plan section is followed by village plans of two main sections each – the issue/solution matrix and their corresponding spatial mapping on coastal hazards aerial maps.
    CIM Plans are legal and priority planning documents of the Government of Samoa – the primary frameworks for all Government programs and projects for supporting the maintenance and strengthening of both built and ecological assets villages and districts depends for meeting their social, economic and environmental needs and requirements.
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment maintains these plans and coordinates their implementation in collaboration with other Ministries, Civil Society Organizations and the public.
  • The next few slides raises some key lessons that were learned from this planning system in Samoa with respect to key planning and management aspects – policy and planning approach, programs and projects, gender and capacity building issues.
  • For recommendations – there is no doubt that generally integrated planning for our coastal area issues is the most preferred approach, and therefore as in the experience from Samoa this requires significant support and promotion in the coming years, but it also requires broad based contexts – not just for local needs but also how those local needs could be effectively developed under the influence of global and regional planning processes. In terms of process and implementation it is highly recommended to approach integrated planning in a hands-on way to systematize increasing of populations learning and experience for process relevance, legitimacy and sustainability.


  • 1. Coastal Management Planning Experience of Pacific Island Countries in the last thirty years 80s, 90s, 00s
  • 2. I Broad Types of Coastal Management Planning Approaches in the last 30 years (‘80s – ’00) II Case Study of Integrated Coastal Management Planning Approach in Samoa III Experiences Lessons Learned – Mainstreaming Coastal Management into the National Development Planning Process
  • 3. 1. Economic/development Approach: Alteration of the coastline & built infrastructures to increasing social and economic development opportunities (reclamation and infrastructures to enhance economic and livelihood opportunities – hotels, marinas, wharves, causeways, etc.) 2. Conservation/Eco-system Approach: Protection of coastal ecosystems and associated ecological services (fisheries reserves, marine reserves, marine protected areas) that supports livelihood and natural systems needs 3. Protection/Engineering Approach: Protecting high value lifeline social and economic infrastructural assets at urban centres and densely populated rural areas (system of engineered reinforcements – both physical (seawalls/reclamation) and or vegetative (green buffer zones/bio-shields) – along the coastline of urban centres and densely populated rural areas 4. Integrated Approach: System of long-term planning of responses to mitigate and adapt to consequences of coastal zone changes due to global environment (climate change) and anthropogenic (socio-economic) changes
  • 4.  Dominant coastal planning approaches as countries became independent and needed development to meet needs of growing populations about 70% living on coastal areas  Significant alteration of coastlines through reclamation and construction of infrastructures to support socio-economic development needs with high impacts on ecological resources and services and highly vulnerable to climate change risks and often weak consideration of environmental requirements  Will continue to be the major coastal management planning approach with growing populations and expanding economic development requiring strong mainstreaming of environmental and social considerations
  • 5.  Emerged out of global response to environmental change (climate change & degradation of coastal and marine environments)  While minor alteration of coastline /ecosystems it tends to concentrate on areas of high biodiversity value away from densely populated areas and difficult to support without clear and often immediate benefits to communities  Examples of local and regional initiatives supporting the conservation approach: Locally – the Village Fisheries Reserves (VFRs), Community Conservation Areas (CCAs), Locally Manage Marine areas (LMMAs), Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and regionally – the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Project (SPBCP) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management Process (ICZM)
  • 6.  Engineering approaches to protect high value social and economic lifeline infrastructural assets (man-made) in urban areas & densely populated rural areas  Continuing response to expanding urbanization in coastal areas with high impacts on ecological systems and services and highly vulnerability to climate change impacts  Key examples: systems of coastline seawalls combined with vegetation buffer zones (bio- shields).
  • 7.  Long term planning for managing the coastline that integrates the conservation, economic and social needs of coastal areas  A multidisciplinary approach that requires high level of collaboration and coordination among different stakeholders, communities and interest groups  While highly desirable its difficult to implement as it requires fundamental changes to social and cultural norms of social and economic development practices  Examples of recent projects/programs: UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves, SPREP Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change, etc.
  • 8. Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management Planning System (CIMP) 2000 -> 2011
  • 9.  Samoa Planning & Urban Management Act 2004 Part 3 Section 8(b) “To enable land use and development planning and policy to be integrated with environmental, social, economic, conservation and resource management policies at national, district, village and site specific levels;”
  • 10.  Samoa’s CIMP History: ◦ 2000 Coastal Zone Hazards Mapping Exercise:  Basis: Analysis of geological and anecdotal data of coastline changes 1954-1999 /development of coastal erosion, flooding, land slide and land slip hazard zones maps ◦ 2001:  Formulation of the Samoa’s Integrated Coastal Infrastructure Assets Management Strategy  Samoa’s Infrastructure Assets Management Program (SIAM) for all Villages (200+) & Districts (40+) in 2001 – 2007 (funded by WB) ◦ Review 2012 > incorporate recent experiences (2009 tsunami) and upscale implementation
  • 11. The CIM Planning Process: 1 – Government/District Consultations on concepts and program 2 – Government/District Villages consultations & draft planning 3 – Villages & Districts consultations on draft plans 4 – Government Ministries/NGOs and other national /regional institutions reviews of draft plans 5 – Government/Villages final plans consultations 6 – Government /District & Villages plans signed off 7 – Implementation and M&E by national government & local authorities
  • 12. 1. Translations of the strategy and technical terms into the Samoan language greatly facilitated consultation and communication the Samoan language and culture 2. Appreciation and use of traditional local consultation values and practices enabled grassroots direct participation in national planning and decision-making processes for the environment/development 3. Strengthen relationships & interactions between national (ministries) and local authorities at the technical and policy levels
  • 13. 1. Project/Program have increased local communities’ expectations of development services from governments and donors 2. The CIM Plan process has while complementing conservation planning experiences of the ‘90s it introduced a new highly comprehensive level of environment and development planning to local villages traditional and cultural practices 3. Local leadership & engagement was largely dominated by males requiring strengthening of the villages & districts communities consultations stage.
  • 14. 1. Implementation is difficult and requires further development and strengthening of the national /local/donor institutional capacities for effective coordination and collaboration 2. Local communities still highly dependent on national experts and agencies on understanding and coordination of implementation of plans requiring extensive local capacity building at the technical, policy and coordination levels.
  • 15.  Increase support for and participation in integrated coastal management planning by local and national authorities that appreciate and strengthen the integration of global, national and local planning contexts and scales in all Pacific countries  Integrated planning approach to appreciate, be more practical (hands-on) with and broaden the capacities of local traditional resources owners and use practices  Systematize building of necessary individual, institutional and community capacities required for coordination and coherent planning and implementation