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Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece (e-mail: hkok@prd.uth.gr; Phone: +30 24210 7445; Fax: +30 24210 74380)

Abstract. There are important functional relationships between river basins and coastal areas and one may inuence the other. The two systems are linked through natural processes (water ow, sediment transport, energy) and human activities (urban development, rural activities, technical infrastructures, waste and pollution). Coastal areas are extremely valuable as they concentrate a rich diversity of natural habitat areas and a large variety of natural resources. River basins are also important areas from the point of view of natural ecosystems particularly on the basis of the presence of water and its support for the ora and fauna in the area. Coastal areas and river basin, at the same time provide opportunities for development of a wide range of human activities. The coastal zone is an essential part of a river basin. Both, river basin and coastal problems require a multi-sectoral approach. In some cases the two systems require a common framework of management. The goals, general objectives and principles of integrated river basin and coastal zone management are discussed. Keywords: coastal management, environmental planning, integrated management, river basin management

1. Links Between Coasts and River Basins Coasts and river basins are important from an ecological point of view as they contain natural resources and ecosystems. Both are also important from a socioeconomic point of view as areas which concentrate a variety of human activities, so they are often used intensively by mankind. Both systems support a variety of ecological and socio-economic functions which are in many respects intertwined and interdependent as an outcome of functional linkages between coastal and riverine areas, linkages which become increasingly important with the expansion of human activities over the coastal area and the river basin. Economic activities in downstream areas may benet from upland resources, such as water, aggregates and wood while coastal areas provide space for settlement and industrial or tourist developments that may also have positive benets for the wider basin area. The coastal zone is an essential part of a river basin. The two areas are linked through a number of natural and socio-economic processes: The cycle of water which affects water quality and quantity and ultimately sea water quality affecting coastal ecosystems and human activities on the coastal zone (shing/aquaculture and tourism/recreation opportunities) (Burt, 1992).
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution: Focus 4: 411419, 2004. C 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.



Sediment transport which affects soil and coastal dynamics ultimately having an impact on coastal ecosystems and human activities on the coastal zone (shing/aquaculture, urban development, tourism, etc.). Human activities in the river basin might affect also coastal ecosystems and human activities in the coastal zone in a positive way providing food, water and energy or in a negative way through water retention for irrigation and other uses, waste efuents dumped in the river, etc.

2. The Need for Integrated Management of Coastal Areas and River Basins Both, river basin and coastal area problems require a multi-dimensional approach to take into account the multiple aspects involved (ecological, social, economic, etc.). However, the emphasis may change as River basin management is essentially multi-sectoral co-ordination with some elements of rural land use regulation; Coastal zone management is essentially physical planning and resource management with a strong emphasis on land-use regulation and physical interventions (project planning). Traditionally, river basin management has just been seen in terms of water supply. Many other functions of a river basin must be recognised, including tourism, nature conservation and cultural value. It is now evident that river basins should be managed in an integrated way (Boon et al., 1991; Harper and Ferguson, 1995). The coastal zone is invariably an area of intense human activity (Ketchum, 1973). Unlike river basins, coastal management has long combined two facets: marine resource management and land-use planning. Because coasts are so heavily used, many conicts arise (Carter, 1988). As in river basins, it is now widely recognised that integrated management of the coastal zone is required to lay the foundation for sustainable development. A comprehensive approach to shoreline management must incorporate upstream areas of both coast and river basin, since management practices in either system can impact further down the coast. Changing land use patterns and resource use in upstream areas will affect downstream areas. Changes in land use in the catchment area, such as urbanisation and deforestation, will change runoff and sediment supply that will ultimately affect the coastal zone, often resulting in erosion and coastline retreat. Pollutants discharged in the upper part of the river will ultimately affect the quality of both the water and the sediments in the lower parts of the river. Obviously, these changes have a direct impact on the integrity of the aquatic ecosystem and its ora and fauna (Table I). In those areas where such linkages are important, Integrated Coastal Area and River Basin Management (ICARM) will be required (UNCHS, 1996). Integrated



TABLE I Impacts of human activities on natural processes in river basin Human activity Urbanisation, tourism Impact on water related processes Changes in run off pattern. Use of surface and ground water for water supply Use of surface and ground water for irrigation; Lowering of water table, salt intrusion; Increases risk of ooding due to subsidence Changes in run off pattern Use of surface and ground water as process and cooling water Changes in river regime Impact on transport of sediment Changes in sediment yield Impact on transport of other substances Pollution due to sewage and solid waste Pollution due to pesticides and herbicides; Eutrophication due to nutrients


Watershed erosion due to changed land use pattern; Changes in sediment transport due to subsidence

Deforestation Industry

Watershed erosion Pollution (thermal); Pollution of surfaceand groundwater due to waste disposal and storage Changes in sediment transport patterns, sedimentation Pllution (thermal)


Thermal and nuclear power stations Oil and gas exploitation

Use of surface water as cooling water Increased risk of ooding due to subsidence Changes in run off pattern Changes in sediment transport due to subsidence Changes in sediment transport patterns Changes in sediment transport due to dredging

Large physical infrastructure Yachting, navigation Fisheries and aquaculture Atmospheric inputs

Pollution of surfaceand groundwater due to waste disposal and storage Pollution during construction and operation Pollution, human waste and oil spills Eutrophication due to nutrients Pollution due to acid rain

Land based inputs

Changing rainfall patterns and sea level rise due to climate change Interbasin water supply, river diversion

Changing sediment transport patterns due to climate change Changes in sediment transport patterns due to changes in neighbouring areas

Land based pollution



management has become increasingly diverse, covering a range of economic and social goals. Conicting demands on natural resources and land uses has brought the need for a comprehensive approach, involving multiple objectives and the need to account for a wider scale of interest in both space and time. Given this contemporary perspective, an integrated approach to the management of coastal zones and river basins is sensible and timely.

3. The Approach ICARM is the adoption of goals, objectives and policies and the establishment of governance mechanisms which recognize the interrelationships between the two systems with a view for environmental protection and socio-economic development. The goals of integrated coastal area and river basin management fall within the framework of sustainable development according to which environmental conservation is of equal importance to economic efciency and social equity, all sought in a long-term perspective on the basis of intergenerational equity. The general objectives stem from the need to express such goals in terms of long-range considerations and medium- or short-range needs, allocating resources to various users ensuring at the same time the proper function of natural ecosystems. In particular, Develop human resources and strengthen institutional capacities; Ensure participation of all different actors from both the private and public sector, of the upstream and downstream area, etc.; Protect traditional uses, when proving to be benecial for both local socioeconomic development and environmental protection and rights and equitable access to coastal resources; Encourage complementary rather than competitive activities; Identify where resources can be harnessed without causing degradation or depletion; Renew or rehabilitate damaged resources for traditional or new uses; Guide the level of uses or intervention so as not to exceed the carrying capacity of the resource base; Ensure the integrity of coastal and river basin ecosystems; Ensure that the rate of loss of renewable resources does not exceed the rate of replenishment; Ensure that the benets from the exploitation of non-renewable resources are used for sustainable development; Reduce risks to vulnerable resources; and Respect natural dynamic processes, encouraging benecial ones and preventing adverse interferences.



The basic principles of integrated coastal area and river basin management in the context of sustainable development involve to Respect the integrity of the river basin or coastal ecosystem accepting limits on the use of resources; Ensure the strategic importance of renewable resources for socio-economic development; Allow for the multiple use of resources integrating complementary activities and regulating/separating conicting ones; Ensure multi-sectoral and multi-level integration in decision making linking broad scale management to local level interventions; and Allow for participation of all actors particularly local population in the planning process to assure effective management. In establishing an integrated management system for river basin and coastal zones it is necessary to adopt a -active approach. In this context planning acquires a special role in establishing a process of governance and a strategic framework of goals, policies and actions. Strategy formulation within the context of ICARM depends on the case study particularities and on broader regional and national conditions. The formulation of a strategy needs often to address issues which have an impact on the management of the river basin or the coast but which fall outside of the authority of the people participating in the process. Due to its complex nature ICARM requires a high level of co-operation within and between institutional structures. A high level of horizontal co-operation is required particularly among sectoral institutions at the planning stage, and a high level of vertical co-operation is necessary within institutions at the implementation stage. As issues transcend often administrative boundaries, one needs to work at different levels: national, sub-national, local. At the national level the policy issues related to both formulation and implementation of the ICARM process are to be dened. A strategy needs to be elaborated providing the necessary guidelines for local and regional initiatives. An agency who would be responsible for coastal and river basin management at a national level needs to be identied as well. Environmental and conservation standards will be set at this level. A committee which will work on the sectoral concerns, allowing for the participation of all interested ministries may be formed as well. At the sub-national level some more detailed plans may be developed on the basis of the national guidelines for ICARM. Co-ordination of local plans for integrated river basin and coastal zone management will be pursued along with the resolution of some conicts with national goals. Detailed plans are to be developed on the local level.



There are two prerequisites for implementation of the plans formulated on the basis of the Strategy: The plans need to have a legal status that will assure to a great extent the possibility of a successful implementation. A realistic basis, meaning sensible policies and actions which are commensurable to the scale of the problems, the capacity of governance, the human and nancial resources required and the technology support which is necessary. A variety of tools and methods can be employed in ICARM at the stages of information management, plan development and implementation including Database, GIS, Decision Support Systems, Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Economic Evaluation of Costs and Benets, Environment Development Scenarios, Carrying Capacity Analysis, Regulation and Control or Financial Mechanisms, Awareness-Capacity Building-Education, Conict Resolution, etc. 4. Scoping Some small sections of coastline may not be inuenced by river inputs, but as longer sections of coastline are considered, the impact of rivers inevitably becomes greater. By the same token, small river basins are unlikely to affect the coastal zone signicantly, except in a few cases. However, as the size of basin increases, the likelihood of outputs from the basin having some effect on the coastal zone increases. Moreover, because of the intimate linkage between river and coast, changes in a river system can be felt far away. Not all of the management activities within the ICARM domain will require a fully integrated approach. The scale of the management issue and the impact of the management actions largely determine whether or not ICARM should be applied. In some cases, management in one sector may be independent of the others, but as the scale of the task increases, the need for an integrated approach will invariably increase. The present guidelines provide a conceptual framework to evaluate the necessity case by case and to implement an efcient and effective ICARM procedure. Integrated river basin and coastal zone management provides the opportunity to consider explicitly certain aspects of these systems that have previously been seen as outside the scope of interest. Such an approach leads to better co-ordination of policy making and action across sectors (water, forestry, agriculture, urban development, environmental protection, etc.) and geographically, ultimately leading to a more rational use of resources and more effective environmental protection. The expected outcome of an integrated management approach would be optimisation of policy interventions in space and time to reduce potential conicts, bridge potential gaps and streamline potential overlaps among policies. This can be



achieved through recognition of key linkages between coastal area and river basin systems (both natural processes and human activities), and the identication of key locations, both geographical and sectoral, for policy intervention. In this regard, it should be recognised that there are substantial differences in terms of time frame and geographical scale among the various processes operating in coastal areas and river basins, and this must be borne in mind in the decision-making process. 5. Pilot Study: Cetina River in Croatia In order to demonstrate the usefulness of ICARM approach, a pilot project was designed for the River Cetina watershed and its associated coastal areas (Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), including the islands in Croatia, by the UNEP/MAP Priority Actions Programme (UNEP/MAP/PAP, 2000). The general objectives were To apply the principles of the Conceptual Framework and Planning Guidelines for Integrated Coastal Area and River Basin Management to issues concerning the Cetina basin and its adjacent coastal area; To investigate their interrelations (functional, socio-economic, natural, and others), as well as to clarify and quantify them; To provide support to the local administrative units and Split-Dalmatia county in the preparation of the integrated river basin and coastal area management and protection of the Cetina basin and its associated coastal area. Specic objectives: To identify the major problems relating to the development of the Cetina basin and to establish and prioritize the means to their solutions; To identify the basic conicts in the Cetina basin and associated coastal area, and to dene their resolutions; To propose an institutional framework that would meet the need for the establishment of a long-term basin management system; and To create the preconditions for the achievement of regional and international co-operation in relation to management of the Cetina basin. The basic principles of the integrated planning and management of the Cetina basin and the adjacent coastal area were To respect the relationship between the river and coastal ecosystem; To limit the use of non-renewable nature resources, within the framework of the areas socio-economic development; To secure a multi-tiered system of co-ordination within the decision-making process, and in particular that of the local pollution, in order to guarantee the most efcient management of the area.



The environmental and socio-economic prole of the River Cetina watershed and the associated coastal area was prepared. A number of development options for the Cetina River watershed and coastal area were elaborated and assessed, particularly with respect to possible future environmental impacts of development options. There are various users and governmental agencies at the local, regional and national level which have an interest and responsibility in the watershed of the river. As a result there are conicts, fragmentation and lack of co-ordination in adopted projects, plans and programmes. Most physical plans of local authorities (dening land use, environmental protection, infrastructure, etc.) focus on local priorities, frequently neglecting wider aspects and impacts, an outcome reecting the lack of higher order physical plans. For example, many local plans assume high rates of demographic and economic growth, as the focus is on expanding urban areas in spite of the demographic emptiness of the hinterland and the unfavorable demographic structure of the area. Sectoral plans and programmes are based on the maximal exploitation of natural resources for specic sectors (i.e. energy, sheries, mineral resources and mining). Although several environmental considerations exist, these are not systematically supported by scientic research. Industry, mining and exploitation of mineral resources are planned to act as fundamental drivers of economic development for the inner part of the watershed leading to environmentdevelopment conicts (i.e. the use of low quality coal for a planned thermo-power plant could create air pollution issues). Furthermore, in the development plans islands and coastal areas there is no reference to the support needed for their development orientations (i.e. tourism or agriculture) by the watersheds energy and water resources. An integrated management plan is required to include the Cetina watershed along with its associated coastal areas and islands. Several zones were identied: the inland karstic area, the coastal and island area, the area along the state border and the area ravaged by war. Policy priorities were identied on the basis of the characteristics and environmentdevelopment conicts of each zone. So specically, the inland karstic area requires a special approach since any activity has to be assessed with respect to the protection of surface and ground waters. In parallel, any activity in the coastal and insular areas has to be assessed with regard to the possibility of using the natural resources of the watershed. The alleviation of the present congestion problems on the coast through dispersed activities and population towards the hinterland, along with the selective use and rehabilitation of the land, is regarded as the basic principle for optimum land use management while islands require revitalization of their demographic and economic features in line with local carrying capacity. Special institutional measures should be promoted for the border area, focusing on the optimal use and protection of natural resources whereas the development of technical and physical infrastructure is the major objective for the area ravaged by recent hostilities, in parallel with the revitalization of the damaged social environment.



A comprehensive integrated plan for the management and protection of the Cetina watershed is of utmost priority, engaging all actors and taking into account all critical issues (water management, energy production, environmental protectio, urban expansion and economic growth). The plan is proposing to recognize two structuring axes of development: A development axis along the coast, comprising the coastal and island areas, A perpendicular development axis linking the coast and the hinterland as well as the territories of the two states. Integrated planning and management of the Cetina basin and its associated coastal area provides a broad framework for the selection of the most adequate measures preventing possible conicts inherent in land development. This is achieved by recognizing the key relationship between the coastal area and the river basin (natural processes and processes of urbanization), and by dening the key geographical locations of sectoral activities and important users.

6. As a Final Note In establishing an integrated management system for river basin and coastal zones it is necessary to adopt a pro-active approach. In this context planning acquires a special role in establishing a process of governance and a strategic framework of goals, policies and actions in the form of a strategic integrated management plan which can be specied in spatial terms and takes action by considering in advance medium and long term anticipated changes. The emphasis is here on the process of establishing priorities and actions for integrated management of a coastal area and river basin.

Burt, T. P.: 1992, The hydrology of headwater catchments, in P. Calow and G. E. Petts (eds.), The Rivers Handbook, Vol. 1, Blackwell Scientic Publications, Oxford, pp. 328. Boon, P., Calow, P. and Petts, G.: 1991, River Conservation and Management, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK. Harper, D. and Ferguson, J. (eds.): 1995, The Ecological Basis for River Management, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK. Ketchum, B.: 1973, The Waters Edge, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA. Carter, R. W. G.: 1988, Coastal Environments: An Introduction to Physical, Ecological and Cultural Systems of Coastlines, Academic Press, London. UNCHS (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements Habitat): 1996, Issues in the Integrated Planning and Management of River/Lake Basins and Coastal Areas. A Human Perspective, Nairobi. UNEP/MAP/PAP: 2000, River Cetina Watershed and the Adjacent Coastal Area, Priority Actions Programme, Split, Croatia.