iCoast – Integrated coastal area management - Working out a framework for sustainable development

iCoast – Integrated coastal area management - Working out a framework for sustainable development

Start-up year

Start-up year: 

Closing year

Closing year: 

The Norwegian Research Council


Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, project lead.

The conflicts regarding use of the coastal zone and adjacent waters are increasing, internationally as well as nationally. In Norway, new activities like tourism and recreation, conservation, aquaculture and industrial activities related to energy production compete with traditional use of space and resources. As both industrial and recreational activities are becoming more space consuming, the potential for conflicts increases.

To avoid confrontation between competing stakeholders, areas have to be allocated to specific use in a democratic, transparent, effective and orderly manner, allowing new activities to develop parallel to traditional use. However, weak traditions and mechanisms for coordination and integration may turn out to be a major problem. Through a systemic approach where the coastal socio-ecological system and the systems' social, economic and natural components are studied, this project aims to explore coordination and integration needs in coastal management.

The insight will be applied in a process for development of best management practices in accordance with good governance principles. Acknowledging that there is no one size fits all-solution in coastal management, the project focuses on three specific areas in Norway; Trøndelagskysten, Vestfjorden and Altafjorden, all with high complexity regarding stakeholders, activities and conflict potential. Coastal management in these areas involves aspects of environmental, social and economic character, and opens for an inter-disciplinary, comparative study where social scientists, economists, biologists and technologists collaborate.