Republic of Cyprus

Integrated Coastal Zone Management


Environmental protection is crucial for the quality of life of current and future generations. An important challenge is to combine environmental protection with continued economic progress in the long run.

The Department of Environment is the contact point for international and European policies related to integrated coastal zone management with regard to the environmental dimension. It is therefore necessary to implement an environmentally sustainable, economically fair, socially responsible and culturally sensitive management of coastal zones.

Important legal tools are integrated management protocol coastal regions, as part of the Barcelona Convention of the United Nations Environment Programme and the recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the integrated management of coastal zones in Europe. The Protocol to the Environment Programme concerns the 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union, while the Recommendation concerns the 22 coastal Member States of the European Union of 28.


The Protocol on integrated coastal zone management in the Mediterranean, which is the seventh Protocol of the Barcelona Convention, is the first legal international tool for the sustainable management and use of coastal zones, taking into account the importance of coastal ecosystems, the diversity of activities and uses and their impacts on the marine and coastal area. The aim is to preserve coastal natural habitats, landscapes and natural resources and ecosystems.

According to the Protocol, “Integrated Coastal Zone Management” means a dynamic process for the sustainable management and use of coastal zones, taking into account at the same time the fragility of coastal ecosystems and landscapes, the diversity of activities and uses, their interactions, the maritime orientation of certain activities and uses and their impact on both the marine and land parts.

The area of application of the Protocol is the area of the Mediterranean Sea as defined in article 1 of the Convention and covers (a) the seaward limit of the coastal zone, which is the external limit of the territorial sea of Cyprus (12 nautical miles) and (b) the landward limit of the coastal zone, which is the limit of the competent coastal units as defined by Cyprus.

Insofar, the Protocol has been signed by 15 Contracting Parties to the Convention and by the European Union. The Protocol was ratified by 6 Contracting Parties and entered into force on 24 March 2011. The signing and ratification of the Protocol by the European Union is European law and binds the Member States and its institutes. Consequently, its implementation is binding on Cyprus, although it did not sign it.

The key elements of Integrated Coastal Zone Management are:

    · protection and sustainable use of coastal zones,

    · preservation of natural resources from economic activities (agriculture, industry, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, sports and leisure activities, use of certain natural resources, infrastructure, power plants, ports and maritime works and structures, water activities),

    · protection of the characteristics of certain special coastal ecosystems,

    · recognition of the natural and cultural value of coastal landscapes,

    · preservation and protection of the cultural, archaeological and historical heritage of coastal zones,

    · ensuring effective governance and stakeholder involvement,

    · awareness-raising, training, education and research activities.

To achieve this, Cyprus will adopt a national strategy and action plan for Integrated Coastal Zone Management for a period of ten years. In order to enable the implementation of national strategies and plans and programmes for coastal zones, the Contracting Parties shall take appropriate measures to establish economic, financial and/or fiscal instruments. Other instruments that Cyprus may use for the ICZM is the creation of mechanisms and networks for monitoring and observation, the taking into account the environmental impact assessment process in coastal areas and the sensitivity of the environment with its carrying capacity or the establishment of regional planning instruments and measures.

An important part of the Protocol is Article 8 “Protection and sustainable use of the coastal zone”, which establishes a coastal zone width not less than 100m from the highest winter waterline, where construction is not allowed. In contrast, national legislation specifies a coastal zone of lesser width. In particular, the Protection of the Beach, Chapter 59, specifies that the beach includes areas within a distance of no more than 100 yards (91.44 meters) from the high tide level line, in which construction is prohibited, unless it meets the public interest and approval has been granted by the Council of Ministers.


The Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management of 2002 in Europe calls on the Member States to develop national strategies for the implementation of the ICZM principles. The Recommendation sets out stages that Member States must adopt to develop their national strategies, with the involvement of stakeholders. The Department of Environment as the competent authority has prepared the Report of Cyprus for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe for the period 2002-2006, which was submitted to the European Commission.

In conclusion, it is noted that the UN Protocol and the EU Recommendation on ICZM will help protect coastal areas in Cyprus with the formulation of a national strategy for the integrated coastal zone management and the preparation of plans and programmes for coastal zones. Moreover, adopting measures will allow to alleviate the pressure exerted on coastal zones, such as the degradation of coastal natural resources, depletion of water resources, accelerating erosion and the accumulation of pollution. In addition, measures will be established for the protection of coastal and marine ecosystems such as wetlands, estuaries, marine habitats, dunes, coastal forests and generally the coastal flora and fauna, such as sand dunes. A key role will be played by setting policies and criteria for sustainable management and use of coastal areas, through the involvement of the public in the decision-making processes.


The Department of Environment, in collaboration with the Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-MAP), implemented the Coastal Area Management Programme CAMP-Cyprus as the national strategy for ICZM for the 2006-2008 period.

    The objective of the Programme was to reinforce the existing policies and practices involved, which influence coastal zone management. This goal was promoted through six (6) activities involving methodologies and instruments such as:

    (a) Consolidated Coastal Zone Management,

    (b) Assessment of the Carrying Capacity

    (c) Strategic Environmental Assessment

    (d) Financial Instruments and Methods of Assessment and Management,

    (e) Environmental Information and Public Participation, Communication / Information,

    (f) Biodiversity Issues.

    While four (4) activities were tested in the southern coastal area of Larnaca, starting at the salt lakes of Larnaca until Mazotos. The results of the programme aim at explaning and promoting methods, practices, experiences and instruments to manage the coastal zones of the island.

    The implementation of the Programme was based on the active cooperation and involvement of all services and agencies that shape and execute a policy affecting coastal development as well as the involvement of foreign specialists. Advisory services for the implementation of the six aforementioned activities were provided by international and national Consultants, as well as the working groups and the Monitoring Committee consisting of Governmental and non-Governmental Bodies.

    The Programme aimed to explain and highlight the methods, practices, experiences and instruments for coastal area management, to gain better information and create a common understanding between stakeholders, such as competent services, Local Authorities and other organizations, for the problems and prospects of development and protection of coastal resources through their participation in the Programme and the introduction of appropriate measures and instruments in the institutional framework. The final result, following the implementation of the Programme’s conclusions, will be to improve the quality of the coastal environment, as it was written in the Programme’s Final Report, which was adopted at the final conference held on 13 June 2008.


    The Council of Ministers in its decision dated 25 July 2012, approved the establishment of a working group on maritime spatial planning (MSP), which is governed by the Department of Merchant Shipping. In order to achieve the coordination and coherence of the two complementary instruments (MSP and ICZM) of the Integrated Maritime Policy, the Council by its resolution dated 10 October 2013, approved the extension of the terms of reference of the Working Group to examine the issues of the ICZM, under the coordination of the Department of Environment and to rename the group to “Working Group on the Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management” (WG-MSP/ICZM).

    The WG-MSP/ICZM consists of the Departments of Merchant Shipping, Environment, Fisheries and Marine Research, Public Works, Antiquities, Lands and Surveys, Town Planning and Housing, the Energy Service, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence and the Cyprus Ports Authority. The purpose of the WG-MSP/ICZM regarding ICZM, is the development of priorities, objectives and actions in the framework of the ICZM strategy in Cyprus. The role of the WG-MSP/ICZM is to coordinate the policy implementation processes that have an impact on the sea and coastal area of Cyprus, with a view to ensure sustainable development.


    The Mediterranean Action Plan (PAP/RAC) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-MAP) promotes the celebration of the Mediterranean Coast Day on 25 September every year in the Mediterranean countries.

    Mediterranean Coast Day is a day dedicated to the protection of the natural coastal environment, having regard to human interaction and socio-economic activities. This initiative seeks to increase environmental awareness on costal value and in the implementation of integrated planning and management of coastal zones, aiming towards policy-making, academia, media, non-governmental organizations and the local community.

    In 2007 the Mediterranean Coast Day was celebrated by distributing a leaflet to eleven (11) elementary schools participating in the Eco-Schools Programme within the municipal limits of the Municipality of Larnaca. The Department of Environment held a presentation at one of these schools, to show the vision of the Mediterranean Coast Day. The event was done in collaboration with the Municipality of Larnaca and the non-governmental organisation Cymepa, which is the national operator of the Eco-Schools Programme. The event and briefing took place within the framework of the Coastal Zone Management Programme (CAMP Cyprus).


      · Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean

      · Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe

      · Form on coastal zones


    UNEP Website:
    PAP/RAC Website:
    EU website:
    EEA Website:

    No documents found

    Last Modified at: 20/01/2021 03:46:39 PM
    Copyright © Republic of Cyprus 2015 - 2021,
    Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Department of Environment
    Designed and Developed by the Department of IT Services