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Application Of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Principles Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 4256 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In most West African sub-region countries, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a fairly new idea and has therefore not been approached and adopted as a management practice. Thus, the management of the coastal zones is seen to be a diffused activity being undertaken by many institutions with interests and stakes in the coastal zone.

Nigeria being a country with coastline of approximately 853km facing the Atlantic Ocean, its coastline lies between latitude 4° 10′ to 6° 20’N and longitude 2° 45′ to 8° 35′ E (Badejo and Nwilo n.d). The coastal area is low lying with heights of not more than 3.0m above sea level (Dublin-Green et al. 1999). According to (Ibe 1998), the Nigerian coast is composed of four distinct geomorphological units namely the Barrier-Lagoon complex; the Mud coast; the Arcuate Niger delta; and the Strand coast.

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Nigeria has one of the largest coastal zones in West Africa; with soaring socio-economic, cultural, physical, and environmental importance. Thus, its coastal zones have undergone sequence of advanced environmental development programs through the Federal Ministry of Environment and its environmental stakeholders in the quest of incorporating conservation and sustainable use of its rich cultural and environmental importance. However, environmental programs introduced are seen to have been unproductive owing to the fact that it was not properly approached due to politics of significant players in the Nigerian coastal zone management. Hence, for Nigeria to achieve the aims of incorporating conservation and sustainable development of its coastal zones, the administrative and stakeholders on environmental management needs to implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in order to achieve its this sustainable growth.


To assess the need and feasibility of applying Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) principles in the management of Nigerian coastal waters with a case study on “Lagos State coastline”.


In the context of this research, the following objectives shall be considered:

Literature review of ICZM and its principles;

The key coastal issues facing Nigeria coastal zone;

Assessing the current management of Lagos State coastline against the principles of ICZM;

Evaluate barriers to the implementation of ICZM on Lagos State coastline;

Evaluate the potential benefits of an ICZM approach.


The Nigerian coastal zone sprawls a total of nine (9) states, out of the thirty-six (36) states of the federation, namely: Akwa-Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State, Delta State, Edo State, Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State and Rivers State. These coastal states are estimated to account for 25% of the national population. Nigerian coastal zones stretch inland for a distance of about 15km in Lagos in the West to about 150km in the Niger Delta and about 25km east of the Niger Delta (anon. n.d).


Fig. 1 above is the map showing the Nigeria coastal areas (Nwilo and Badejo n.d.)

Nigeria with about 853 km stretch of coastline has been characterized with differing erosive activities; a result of combination of natural and anthropogenic forces. Consequently, the importance of the Nigerian coastal and marine environment as the main socio-economic nerve centre of the country; where over 70% of the national income is generated, and there is need for an understanding of the physical changes taking place which would have profound socio-economic implications on the area and the entire nation (Okude and Ademiluyi 2006).

The main key environmental management and development problems on the Nigeria coastal zones that needs addressing; in particular as degradation of the coastal environment in many of its coastlines decline in the quality of life of its local populations are stated below;

Coastal and marine resource degradation;

overexploitation of fisheries,

coastal drifts-(erosion and flooding),

clearing of mangrove forest,

physical modification and destruction of habitats,

Coastal and marine pollution;

oil spillage,

dumping of heavy metals, explosives, sewage and garbage,

climate change and sea level rise

For some years, coastal and marine resource degradation has been a major problem on the Nigerian coastal zones. (Okude and Ademiluyi 2006), evidences from studies and experiments have shown that the rate of shoreline retreat in some section of the Nigerian coast is so rapid as to be alarming. Generally, coastal erosion and accretion occur concurrently worldwide, even though erosion would appear to have a greater magnitude (Oyegun 1988).

More so, (Okude and Ademiluyi 2006) the inadequacy of information about the Nigerian coastal areas would explain for the inadequacy in the management of the coastal erosion problems. In addition, lack of sustainable development policies with inadequate resources to implement coastal zone management by Ministry regulating Nigerian coastal environmental have contributed to the degradation. Apart from the natural environmental problems, such as flat topography of the region, high intensity and long duration of rainfall, high water table and low soil permeability, etc., man-made environmental problems are caused by unplanned and uncoordinated development; poor highway and watercourse design and construction, inadequate waste disposal infrastructure and lack of adequate and proper maintenance programme, and so on (Santos 1999).

Being one of the largest oil and gas suppliers in West Africa, Nigerian economy is dependent on the oil and gas sector, thus, incurs a high risk of disastrous oil spills on the coastal zone owing to increasing oil tanker operations which are being carried out without utmost compliance with MARPOL 73/78, an IMO convention which regulates and prevents marine pollution.


Coastal zone are unique. Such as daily tides, mangrove forests, coral reefs, tidal flats, sea beaches, storm waves, and barrier islands are found only on the coast (Clark 1996). Furthermore, due to the uniqueness of coastal zone in many coastal countries, the region has been recognised as a distinctive region which requires unique attention. Nevertheless, (Post and Lundin 1996), the increasing population on the coastal zone has caused conflicts between challenging uses in its resources and thereby calls for the need to ascertain long-term supply of these resources, on both land and the sea. However, the (European Commission 1999) asserts that coastal zones will continue to be areas of rich potential for our modern society as its productivity such as tidal inlets, salt marshes, and estuaries has an important role to play in food production- through maintenance of fisheries and aquaculture- and in safeguarding nature and biodiversity. In no doubt, (Clark 1996) the coastal zones is seen to have undergone adverse environmental adaption and weakening through developed human activities such as; dredging, fishing, sand filling, and pollution.

According to (Sorenson and McCreary 1990), coastal zone is defined as the interface or transition zone, specifically “that part of the land affected by its proximity to the sea and that part of the ocean affected by its proximity to the land…. an area which processes depending on the interaction between land and sea are most intense”. (Doody 2001), to the marine biologist; coastal zone includes the sea and all those areas which are periodically covered by the tide. While to the coastal ecologist, the zone extends landward to the limits of tidal movement or the influence of salt spray on soils and vegetation. Meanwhile, the quality of coastal waters is a major cause for concern. The two most spectacular phenomena in recent years, oil slicks and algal blooms, are illustrations of the fact that coastal communities frequently suffer the consequences of events or developments occurring inland or offshore and therefore beyond their control (CEC 2000). Therefore, it is imperative to conserve coastal zones in order to accomplish a sustainable growth. There must be a demonstration of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to achieve sustainable growth of coastal zones. According to (CEC 2000) from 1996 to 1999, the Directorates General for Environment, Fisheries and Regional Policy in Europe operated a Demonstration Programme on ICZM which is designed to:

Provide concrete technical information about the factors and mechanisms, which either encourage or discourage sustainable management of coastal zones.

Stimulate a broad debate and exchange of information among the various actors involved in the planning, management or use of European coastal zones. This debate was intended to lead to a consensus regarding the appropriate measures necessary at the European and other levels of competence in order to stimulate ICZM in Europe.

The demonstration programme has yielded a wealth of technical information about ICZM mechanisms and solutions to specific problems faced in the coastal zone (EC 1999 p.5). Furthermore, the demonstration projects have confirmed that there are serious inconsistencies between sectoral and territorial policies, programmes and plans whose impacts are felt on the coast. This fact is responsible for the failing of an application of an integrated approach to coastal planning and management (EC 1999).


Due to inefficiency of varieties of environmental resource management and development control programs adopted, many countries are now embarking on special integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) which strategizes compatible development and resource conservation management that are for the good of the nation as a whole (Clark 1996).

(Shi et al. 2001) ICZM represents a dynamic and continuous process which administers the use, development, and protection of the coastal zones and its resources towards common objectives of national and local authorities and the aspiration of different resource user group.

(Bower and Turner 1996) states; ICZM consists of a set of tasks, typically carried out by several or many public and private entities. On the other hand, (Morksness et al. 2009) ICZM can be defined as a decision-making and management process with which to achieve the sustainable use, development and protection of coastal and marine areas as well as of their resources. Thus, ICZM stands for an enviro-economic regulatory system for numerous competing interests (Eremina and Stetsko). Nevertheless, from the lessons of the European Demonstration Programme on ICZM (European Commission 1999), there are several dimensions to the word integration in coastal management:

The horizontal integration of policies, management arrangements and development plans amongst different sectors, services and agencies at a given level of government (national, provincial, district and more local) as well as amongst interest groups with common interests in coastal areas and resources;

The vertical integration of policies, management arrangements and development plans from national through to local levels of government, including community based approaches to coastal management;

Geographical or territorial integration: which takes into account the interrelationships and interdependencies (physical, chemical, biological, ecology) between the terrestrial, estuarine littoral and offshore components of the coastal zone;

Integration over time: the consistent integration of sustainable development objectives policies, plans and management strategies in the course of time.

The process of ICZM starts with the awareness of issues of common concern, which facilitates a dialogue and exchange of views among interested and affected parties, and this is the basis for coordination of action, which – in time – fosters integration of management (EC 1999 p.15).

With reference to the (European Council, 2002) integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) shall be based on series of principles as stated below:

A broad overall perspective (thematic and geographic) which will take into account the interdependence and disparity of natural systems and human activities with an impact on coastal areas;

A long-term perspective which will take into account the precautionary principle and the needs of present and future generations;

Adaptive management during a gradual process which will facilitate adjustment as problems and knowledge develop. This implies the need for a sound scientific basis concerning the evolution of the coastal zone;

Considering local specificity and the great diversity of European coastal zones, which will make it possible to respond to their practical needs with specific solutions and flexible measures;

Working with natural processes and respecting the carrying capacity of ecosystems, which will make human activities more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically sound in the long run;

Involving all the parties concerned(economic and social partners, the organisations representing coastal zone residents, non-governmental organisations and the business sector) in the management process, for example by means of agreements and based on shared responsibility;

Support and involvement of relevant administrative bodies at national, regional and local level between which appropriate links should be established or maintained with the aim of improved coordination of the various existing policies. Partnership with and between regional and local authorities should apply when appropriate;

Using combination of instruments designed to facilitate coherence between sectoral policy objectives and coherence between planning and management.

Clear evidence of research but needs greater emphasis on assessing the quality of the published literature.


As the aim of this research is an assessment of the application of ICZM principles in the management of Nigerian coastal waters, case study: Lagos State coastline. The following listed methodology shall be applied to achieve the aims and objectives of the research;

Data Collection; researching data comes in a wide variety of shapes and forms (i.e. primary versus secondary data). (Lancaster 2005) on one hand, a primary data will often be collected through techniques such as experimentation, asking questions, interviewing (one-on-one/telephone), observation and surveys. On the other hand, a secondary data is information which already exists in some form or other but which was not primarily collected, at least initially for the purpose of the consultancy exercise at hand. In most cases, a secondary will be the start point of this research as it consists of both external and internal data sources which encompassing internal company information such as databases, reports, government surveys, competitor information and increasingly, internet and web-based sources of information (Lancaster 2005).

Qualitative Research Strategy; this type of research strategy shall be used for this research due to the fact that it can investigate how and why particular events and actions happen and how people feel about such activities. With reference to (Bryman, 2004 p.19-20). A qualitative research emphasizes words rather than quantification in the collection and analysis of data. Therefore, gathering a qualitative data for this research is imperative as the aim of the research is the understanding of believe and experience.

Evaluation Research Strategy; this type of strategy will be used to discover whether the programme of ICZM intend to bring certain changes to coastal management of Lagos State coastline. (Thomas 2004) such studies are closely tied to concerns with accountability and are used to discover whether programmes and expenditures intended to bring about certain changes or to reach specified policy objectives have in fact achieved their goals.

Study Design; this would be achieved through the use and study of relevant textbooks, online journals and articles to gather secondary data.

Using the internet (e-mail) for primary research; the attraction of using a web-based survey are that it can potentially reach an enormous number of respondents anywhere in the world, the costs and time involved in distribution and collection of questionnaires are minimized, and analysis of data that are already in electronic format is made easy (Walliman 2005).

Action Research; this is intended to improve understanding of and prospects for change in organisations by involving organisational members in collaborative relationships with specialist researchers who jointly design and carry out research studies (Thomas 2004). Collection of relevant document papers primarily from organisations, institution and authorities facilitate research.

Sampling Design; this shall be based on costs, quality, time, and feasibility of the research studies.

Ethical Research; throughout this study research, a good ethical research culture shall be maintained and abide by. (Greenfield 1996) ethics in its widest sense, as the principles of good human behaviour, is one of the issues for which philosophers have striven to provide guidance.

Methodology for each objective should be based on the “Research Onion” (see page 132 of Saunders et.al), working from the outside inwards. It is essential to include justification for the chosen approach/method


Likely limitations towards the quality of this research study are listed below;

Duration of research study; the time allocated to conduct this research is too short to conduct an assessment of the management of Lagos State coastline against the principle of ICZM,

Online restrictions; some significant organisations while trying to access recent and quality online journal and articles on ICZM, restricts access and request payment by debit/credit card.

Poor information database; unavailability of quality information database through the Nigerian Ministry of environment will be a barrier to this research due to lack of quality IT infrastructure,

Finance; costs of communication/travelling to Nigeria to conduct a feasibility study on the management of Lagos State coastline will be a barrier due to

Access inability; securing permission to some agencies/organisations while trying to carry out the study research will be a barrier owing to protocols.


Although, the implementation of the practice of ICZM in Nigeria coastal zone has long been discussed by stakeholders in the Nigerian Ministry of Environment and it has been seen to a very difficult task and proved abortive. In view of some problems faced on how to balance the economic growth and conservation of coastal environment for sustainable development on the Lagos State coastline, the author of this research shall study critically and extensively on the application of ICZM and its principles and after that compare against the Lagos State coastal zone management practices, and in the end propose to the State’s Minister for Environments some viable ways of applying effectively the implementation of ICZM principles in order to achieve an integrated Lagos State coastline management and Nigerian coastal zones at large.




Start date

Finish date

Project topic selection




Developing aims, objectives, and hypothesis




Literature review




Designing methodology




Planning research programme




Submitting project proposal




Familiarising with research database




Receive proposal feedback




Reviewing proposal feedback




Collecting research data




Evaluating research information




Drawing project conclusion




Publish project findings




Findings appraisal




Complete Project




Submit project research





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