Marine and Coastal Areas Development

Marine and Coastal Areas Development
Marine and Coastal Areas Development

Human activities and pressures on natural resources can be very intense in coastal areas. When these rich and diverse ecosystems are degraded they no longer posses the same capacity to provide goods and services to the people that so much depend on them. This leads to decreased food security and an overall rise of poverty. Successful management of coastal and marine resources requires the involvement of all parties – especially the resource users – in policy development, and the planning and management of the coastal areas. EcoAfrica promotes and increases level of awareness about the value of these precious resources and their benefits if used sustainably, as well as the consequences of destructive activities.

Our work includes:

  • Applying Integrated Coastal Areas Management (ICAM) approaches to problems and issues
  • Conducting rapid assessments to delineate new Marine Conservation Areas
  • Increasing awareness levels among local communities, planners and decision makers
  • Developing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plans for coastal areas
  • Researching marine biodiversity and resources using a variety of techniques
  • Assessing resource use patterns by the local communities
  • Socio-economic assessments and environmental economics of marine resources
  • Conduct environmental awareness programmes and activities
  • Plan and implement marine protected areas (MPAs) and marine conservation areas (MCAs)
Coastal areas the world over are undergoing rapid development with growing and conflicting demands on the natural resources. They are subject to often irreversible degradation of these resources that undermine the very basis for their development.
For marine and coastal development to be sustainable various tools and mechanisms can be deployed. They include MPAs where only non-consumptive uses may be allowed, multiple-use marine conservation areas (MCAs) where multiple uses are balanced through zoning and the establishment of ‘no touch’ fish refugia, and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) tools. Coastal areas planning and management is an interdisciplinary field where socio-economic studies are just as important as surveys of the physical and biological characters of the environment. The policy, legal and institutional frameworks that apply to coastal areas is a determining factor in whether sustainable development can be achieved.