Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex A


  At the first NW Coastal Conference, held in Blackpool on 22 May 2000, GO-NW announced the establishment of a North West Coastal Forum to promote and deliver integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in this region. The announcement was widely welcomed by the 199 Conference delegates.

  The new Forum enhances regional strategic involvement in progressing key coastal issues to secure the sustainable management, use and development of the NW coastal zone. The 1000km of coastline from the Solway to the Dee is a unique resource and real asset in this region, with a need for its sensitive stewardship.

  GO-NW is in the lead amongst Government Offices for the Regions in engaging in ICZM. There are several pressures for NW regional strategic involvement in coastal issues:

    —  the May 1999 European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) proposes integrated strategies based on a territory or area, and the development of effective linkages, particularly at regional level;

    —  the EU's Committee of the Regions agreed in April 2000 that mechanisms had to be created within regional (and other) authorities to further ICZM;

    —  EC guidelines on the INTERREG III Community Initiative were published in May 2000. NW England will be eligible for funding including through the Atlantic Area Programme, the draft of which includes the Measure "Integrated management of coastal areas and estuaries, protection of wetlands";

    —  the EC's European Strategy for ICZM, published on 27 September 2000, states "Where it exists, the regional level of government has a key role to play in integrated planning and management of the coastal zone"; also that "As many of the problems of individual coastal zones are in fact related to driving forces elsewhere in the same regional sea (Mediterranean, Baltic, etc), the EU will also promote activity at the "regional seas" level";

    —  the Local Government Association's (LGA) December 2000 National Coastal Strategy commends the work of the NW region and the development of the NW Coastal Forum and comments that the LGA is working together with the North West and encourages other regions to follow our lead;

    —  the February 2000 Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) "Reaching Out" report advocates regions engaging effectively with partners and influencing national policy development;

    —  cross-Whitehall liaison on some marine and coastal issues is well established bi-laterally, but the Inter-Departmental Group on Coastal Policy meets infrequently and criticisms have also been made about the effectiveness of the English Coastal Forum. This militates in favour of action on ICZM at regional level;

    —  Liverpool University research on Integrated Coastal Planning in the NW, commissioned and steered by GO-NW and published in May 2000, recommends the establishment of a NW Coastal Forum.

  The Forum is supported by a full-time Project Officer and has an inclusive structure, with a biennial Conference, as well as Steering and Working Groups involving regional partners and other coastal and marine expertise. Outcomes will be evaluated against a work programme.

  The Forum is outward looking, providing a NW England input into the wider management of the Irish Sea and European Coastal Zone. Informal contacts have been made with Wales, Scotland, N Ireland, Eire and the Isle of Man.


    Associated British Ports
    British Resorts Association
    Coastal Cell 11 (shoreline management) Group
    Countryside Agency
    Cumbria County Council
    English Heritage
    English Nature
    Environment Agency
    Government Office for the North West
    Irish Sea Forum
    Mersey Basin Campaign
    National Trust
    NW & N Wales Sea Fisheries Committee
    NW Biodiversity Forum
    NW Business Leadership Team
    NW Development Agency
    NW Regional Assembly
    NW Tourist Board
    PISCEA (Partnership of Irish Sea Coastal and Estuarine Strategies)
    Ribble Source to Sea Partnership
    Sefton MBC
    Sport England
    Sustainability North West
    University of Liverpool


December 2000

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