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1 May 2000 Developing Integrated Participatory Management Strategies for Atlantic Dune Systems in County Donegal, Northwest Ireland
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Development planning and resource management in the Irish coastal zone have traditionally followed sectoral, top-down models, with limited opportunities for public participation or concertation of administrative effort. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is often proposed as an appropriate policy response in cases where these approaches have been seen to fail. In this paper, we argue that ICZM may be more sustainable if first introduced at a small scale. Local-level initiatives, designed to produce demonstrable benefits at an early stage, are perhaps more likely to engender long-term support for ICZM. This is particularly relevant where baseline data are lacking and coastal processes are poorly understood. Using seven county Donegal beach and dune systems as demonstration sites, the potential of this approach to provide scientifically-founded, locally-agreed management plans was tested over a range of coastal issues, such as progressive shoreline erosion, habitat loss, tourist development, conflicting recreational activities and traffic management. Progress at each of the sites was partially dependent on the existence, coherence and activity of existing community organizations. In the best example, a local development group already employing many of the central principles of ICZM (e.g. inclusive participation, working with natural processes) was identified. By focussing on local problems, practical solutions and relatively small numbers of stakeholders, agreement was reached on the majority of issues and strategies covered by the management plans. Implementation of the plans will begin in early 2000.

James Power, John McKenna, Michael J. MacLeod, Andrew J. G. Cooper, and Gerard Convie "Developing Integrated Participatory Management Strategies for Atlantic Dune Systems in County Donegal, Northwest Ireland," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 29(3), 143-149, (1 May 2000).
Received: 28 June 1999; Accepted: 1 January 2000; Published: 1 May 2000

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