Integrated coastal management for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: practical guidance for implementation based on experience and lessons learned from coastal and ocean governance in the Seas of East Asia.

Published online
23 Sep 2015
Content type

Publication language
East Asia & Japan


At the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, the Parties adopted a 10-year Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 to achieve 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Achieving these strategic global targets will require national commitments and actions that should be made at the ground level. This is an ambitious and challenging task, considering the diverse social, political and economic conditions at the local level of governance as well as the management complexities in forging interagency cooperation, harmonizing multiple use conflicts, building stakeholders' consensus and participation, securing financial support and, last but not least, building local competence to plan and manage the use of biodiversity resources in a holistic and sustainable manner. The Conference of Parties to the CBD recognized the need to adopt an integrated management approach in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The ecosystem approach (EA) has been suggested to provide the over-arching ecological principles to guide planning and management measures. Integrated marine and coastal area management (IMCAM) and marine spatial planning (MSP) have been suggested as the possible tools. Significant experience has been gained in the implementation of integrated marine and coastal area management or integrated coastal management (ICM) in different areas around the world. In particular, the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) has been focusing on the promotion of coastal and ocean governance in the East Asian Seas region (Annex). At the sub-national level, PEMSEA has been able to draw upon an array of coastal and marine management tools - including those mentioned above - and has formulated these into an ICM system through testing, verification and standardization of the varied management practices. The ICM system utilizes a common governance framework and cyclical planning and partnership-building processes for addressing a multitude of environmental and sustainable development challenges, including those concerning biodiversity. It also espouses the adaptive management approach, where management policy and practices are continuously modified and improved to cope with new management challenges. The ICM system addresses most of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets under its conservation action programmes. As such, experience in implementing ICM, in particular PEMSEA's experience in the East Asian Seas region, is pertinent for achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets The general purpose of this document is to provide practical guidance to coastal management practitioners, biodiversity conservationists, especially those at the local level, and those interested in coastal and ocean governance in the application of the ICM approach to achieve the Aichi Targets. A complementary objective is to provide insights on national upscaling of ICM practices. This guidance document is divided into seven sections. The Executive Summary provides an overview of this document. Section 1 briefly discusses the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the background for the preparation of this guidance document. Section 2 gives an introduction to the concept and methodology of ICM. Section 3 explores the possible contributions of ICM in achieving the vision and mission of the Strategic Plan. Section 4 presents a set of practical guidelines for addressing the Aichi Targets through ICM implementation and its scaling-up. Section 5 attempts to show how the Aichi Targets could be mainstreamed into local, national and regional implementation of coastal and marine management programmes. Section 6 provides a description of implementation challenges. Lastly, Section 7 summarizes the key conclusions.

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