Chapter 5 Stakeholders in integrated coastal area management


Download the blank Coastal Use Matrix document

The coastal zone is the richest, most populated, most complex and the most vulnerable area in the world. Most of all though, it is the most interconnected. Everything that happens in the coastal zone has an effect on other activities in the zone, locally and globally.

One of the greatest risks that must be managed in the coastal zone is therefore the risk of conflict between uses and between users. These potential conflicts also go deeper than just the conflicts between uses and users and include conflicts between whole sectors and those with responsibility to govern, regulate, and manage these activities.

In order for participants to better understand the complexity of coastal zone usage and resulting conflicts,  they will conduct a coastal use mapping exercise in which the uses of a specific coastal area will be mapped. These uses will then be compared for conflicts using a simple matrix as an assessment tool. The associated lines of responsibility for these uses will then be listed and mapped and a correlation with the use conflicts drawn.

The coastal use assessment will then be analysed with the objective of drawing conclusions and recommendations in the form of a coastal area usage strategy.

Coastal Use Matrix
Participants are to construct a coastal use matrix for a suitable coastal area (one that has a number of coastal activities). For this exercise, the coastal area is defined as the area that is visible from the coastal road, looking towards the sea and looking towards the land. There is no lateral limit as long as participants compare 15 activities in the coastal area.  

The matrix is to list all identified usage's for the coastal area. Usage's should be grouped into general groupings and detailed sub-groupings. For example one group would be Recreational with possible sub-groupings being swimming, boating, parks, beach, cycling, and walking. Other possible groupings could include Transportation, Living Resources, Non-living Resources, Waste Disposal, Residential, Industrial/ Commercial etc. The attached matrices are provided as examples only to assist participants in constructing their own matrices. The number of uses listed is not the maximum or minimum. The groups and subgroups are examples only and are not exhaustive in the least.

Each matrix is to compared different usage's in terms of their interaction with other uses. If uses do not conflict a blank space is used. If conflict occurs, the conflict should be categorized as slight, moderate, and severe. For slight an X is inserted. For moderate half the box is shaded, and for severe the whole box is shaded. If two uses are judged to be complementary, a C can be inserted [no conflict=blank; slight=X; moderate=1/2; severe=shaded] .

Responsibility Matrix
Participants must determine what agencies, organizations, institutions, governments etc. have some degree of responsibility or authority with respect to each usage. For example, what government bodies would be responsible for regulating, controlling or managing a port facility or running a coastal business, for example boat hire, boat repair and engineering. Participants should try and get as much of the information on site. If this is not possible, then use your best judgement and list the lines of responsibilities that you believe are appropriate. In addition to listing the lines of responsibility existing in the coastal area, use the usage matrix to determine which agencies need to coordinate their activities to deal with conflicting or complementary usages. Participants should consider agencies or organizations at all levels including local community, municipal, provincial, regional or subnational, national, international, and global. 

At the end of the exercise you should have the following:

(i) a coastal use matrix or analysis, (ii) an assessment of the matrix with conclusions on what are the greatest use issues confronting the selected coastal area, (ii) what problems have developed and what opportunities, for integration or development, can be identified (recommendations).

In order to be effective, participants should distinguish between useful coastal use comparisons (as done in the coastal use matrix) and not-so-useful ones for the exercise to be meaningful.

A SWOT Analysis is a key tool in strategic planning which can help you to assess or analyse the selected coastal area effectively and to make meaningful recommendations. A SWOT analysis focuses on the internal and external environments, examining strengths and weaknesses in the internal environment and opportunities and threats in the external environment: 

Strength - what are the major assets, attributes and resources in this coastal area,

Weakness - what are the major deficiences, disadvantages and difficulties this area faces,

Opportunities - What are the major areas of development that this coastal area has available to work with in the future

Threats - what are the major vulnerabilities (environmental, business, social, economical, etc.) to development in this area.

Strategy - what coastal use strategy would be recommended that takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the area, the opportunities and threats it faces, the present conflicts of usage and governance it faces. As an example should certain usage or areas of usage be abandoned, further developed or introduced. Is there an area of usage that should be the primary focus such as heavy industry, tourism, or fisheries.