“If it wasn’t for the politics we’d be fine” Why is ICZM so difficult?

Ms Maree Fudge1

1University Of Tasmania, West Hobart, Australia


Citizen involvement and participation has become a central tenet of integrated marine and coastal zone management and is increasingly demanded by community members with high stakes in the coast and shared marine environments.  Participation is commonly held to be a solution to the complexity of integrated management. Implementation and progress in integrated management remains slow and uneven in both Canada and Australia, regarded as leaders in their commitments to integrated governance of the marine estate.  Conflict between marine users is still common, and levels of ‘community’ trust in governments, regulation and policy remains low. In the coastal zone and integrated marine governance literature, researchers and practitioners come up again the problem of ‘politics’ and the institutional constraints to integrated management approaches. In this session I will present my examination of the influence of the participation norm on integrated coastal zone and marine management and discuss how this norm may be constraining the capacity of researchers and policy makers to effectively involve citizens and stakeholders in integrated decision-making and management of shared coastal zones and marine environments.


Maree is a social researcher and evaluation consultant (see https://www.facebook.com/pg/WaterwaySocialResearch/posts/?ref=page_internal) & http://rdspartners.com.au/about-us/the-team/maree-fudge/).

Maree is just over halfway through her PhD Candidature through the Centre for Marine Socioecology, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania (http://marinesocioecology.org/).

Maree’s PhD project is a critique of participatory governance for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM).  Her research is an examination of the limits and constraints of citizen participation as a political process. She is comparing the experiences of attempts at participation in ICZM in South East Tasmania and Southwest New Brunswick, Canada (the Bay of Fundy).

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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