Recognizing the variety of socioeconomic, political, cultural and ecological conditions among countries in the region, along with common coastal management concerns, a series of ICM sites have been established to encourage local governments to adopt a comprehensive integrated management framework and process. Through an integrated ecosystem approach, governments can shift away from conventional sectoral approaches of environment and natural resource management.
ICM provides a practical framework for sustainable development, encompassing coastal and marine management, watersheds, river basins and other associated ecosystems. Stakeholders across different political units join forces to systematically manage critical ecosystems that transcend administrative boundaries. ICM is an important tool for combining the management of human activities with the protection of critical ecosystems.
PEMSEA’s work at the national policy level and demonstrated success with ICM has contributed to the replication and scaling of ICM by other organizations and donors in in the region, resulting in almost 40 percent coverage of the entire region’s coastline under some form of ICM
For example, in Batangas, Philippines, the ICM program started with five municipalities and one city in Batangas Bay. In coordination with 34 local governments, agencies and donors, ICM has now expanded to cover the watershed, coastal areas and bays of the entire province. Likewise, 14 coastal provinces in central Vietnam are targeted by the government to adopt ICM practices, and in Thailand, 26 local governments in Chonburi Province have championed the ICM approach in their respective municipalities.
ICM implementation will continue to expand functionally and geographically as local capacity develops. Having met their target of covering 25 percent of the region’s coastline under ICM by 2021, PEMSEA partners are now validating this work and working to meet more ambitious national targets.