Understanding Integrated Coastal Management

Self-scheduled, training materials available
East Asia
Training Provider(s): 
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)


Designed to be completed in a continuous and intensive five-day session, the course includes lectures, discussions, learning and workshop activities, video showing, case/research analysis, and a field/site visit. This content is divided into five units, which are themselves made up of smaller modules. The units are as follows:

Unit I: Concept, Principles and Elements of Integrated Coastal Management

Unit I is an overview of the importance and value of coastal areas, with focus in East Asia, and the urgency of adopting an integrated management approach over the traditional sectoral approaches to effectively and efficiently sustain the development of these areas. It introduces the concept and importance of ICM, as well as the principles behind it and the implementation framework it produces.

Unit II: ICM Program Development and Implementation

Unit II deals with the practical implementation of an ICM program. This covers the whole period of an ICM program, from conception and preparation, to initiating and developing, all the way to refining. An ICM program involves a large number of diverse projects, each with a specific objective and different timeframe. The management of these projects requires effective coordination and integration to facilitate a logical, sequential, and synergistic strengthening of the program as it develops. The process of ICM program development and implementation is operationalized through a six-stage cycle, referred to as the ICM cycle.

Unit III: The ICM Code

Unit III discusses the following: (1) ICM Code based on the Framework for the Sustainable Development of Coastal Areas (SDCA) through ICM Implementation; and (2) Indicators of good practice that may serve as a guide for ICM practitioners in developing and enhancing their ICM programs. Exercises on conducting an initial assessment of an ICM program and/or related environmental programs give the participants an opportunity for hands-on analysis of the status, strengths, and weaknesses of existing programs. This will help participants plan and develop a comprehensive ICM program.

Unit IV: Field Visit

Unit IV allows the participants to observe the practical application of the concepts, principles, and framework discussed in the previous modules. It provides the participants an opportunity to interact with and gain firsthand information from ICM program implementers and to observe the ground-level processes and activities involved in the implementation of ICM governance systems and sustainable development programs.

Unit V: Workshop on the Preparation for ICM Program Development

Unit V consists of workshops to prepare the participants for initiating the ICM Program Development by helping them to identify the next steps needed in preparing such a program in their area of interest. A workshop on establishing the management mechanism for an ICM program will give the participants the opportunity to apply their learning from previous modules and identify the gaps and challenges in establishing said management mechanism. Another workshop on establishing the scope and management boundary of and developing the road map for an ICM program will enable the participants to apply new learning, review ICM activities undertaken, and appreciate the need to systematize the development and implementation of ICM program activities.

After finishing this course, we expect participants to emerge being able to:

  • Understand and appreciate the basic concepts and principles of ICM;
  • Explain the framework and processes involved in developing and implementing ICM at the local and national levels;
  • Be familiar with the tools needed to assess the social, economic, and environmental status of the coastal areas in their locale, as well as the use and management of these areas;
  • Identify the strategies and approaches to initiating or strengthening an ICM program.