ICZM Education and Training in Europe

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In view of the absence of systematic comparative data on ICZM related courses in Europe, a review was conceived as one of ENCORA Thematic Network 10 major activities.

Education and training are important means to contribute to Human Capacity Building, which addresses the preparation of the required coastal actors to carry out ICZM. In Europe, there are a high number of ICZM related courses. However, fragmentation of the training and educational effort has been identified in many European official reports as one of the main concerns regarding the planning and implementation of ICZM initiatives. As these efforts are developed in isolation, existing resources are not fully exploited.

The lack of systematic information on the growing number ICZM related courses in Europe, makes it difficult to reach an overall assessment of what is being taught and with what success [1]. Thus, one of the actions proposed in the Evaluation of ICZM in Europe carried out in 2006 -under the title Review, endorse and promote academic courses on ICZM- is to establish a European database for comparative analysis of education and training courses and corresponding materials. The development of such a European database is also among the objectives of many on-going EU funded research projects (e.g. EU COMET2, SPICOSA, etc.).


The review is divided into 7 chapters: chapter 1 provides the introduction to the review; chapter 2 offers a revision of the state of the art literature on the field of ‘human’ capacity building in regard to education and training for ICZM; chapter 3 describes the survey methodology; chapter 4 presents the survey results; chapter 5 includes the survey conclusions, some broad recommendations and a few ideas for further research; all the references can be consulted in chapter 6; and chapter 7 consists of 4 annexes.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the review by establishing its Aim, Objectives and Scope.

The aim of the review carried out in the context of the ENCORA project by Theme 10 was to deliver an overview of existing ICZM related education and training courses in Europe.

The main objectives of this review are:

Human Capacity Building efforts can be either academic or non-academic in origin. In this way, this review of ICZM related courses was done both inside and outside the context of the university system. The university system is understood in the widest sense, taking into consideration the Bologna Process on the harmonization of the European Higher Education Area.

Chapter 2. Literature Review

This chapter explores the current State of the Art of education and training in ICZM worldwide, and with particular attention to the European context, through the examination of exiting literature in the field as well as main efforts such as workshops and projects/programmes dealing with this topic. This literature review provides a benchmark to further evaluate how ICZM education and training has progressed in the last decade.

Two main headings shape the chapter: (i) Examination of main efforts; and (ii) Some conceptual considerations. The first heading encompasses both international and European efforts dealing with ICZM training and education (see also Past efforts to define capacity building needs in ICZM), whereas the second one focuses on the main conceptual considerations found in current literature regarding ICZM curriculum development, which have been summarized in 4 aspects: (1) the study field; (2) the target audience; (3) the capacities; and (4) the learning paths.

Chapter 3. Methodology

The review was based on data collected during 2007, through an extensive survey consisting of a questionnaire-based investigation addressed to academic institutions and international organisations involved in coastal education and training from a representative set of European countries.

The questionnaire was inspired by the one developed by Cicin-Sain et al (2000)[2]. This first version was then modified and reviewed by various experts. The final version of the questionnaire consisted of 3 main blocks that respectively addressed the following aspects:

1) General characteristics: qualitative data on basic information about the structure of the course, scope, profile of target candidates, admission and evaluation processes, delivery systems, means of finance, partnership and networking, relationships with the public, private and voluntary sectors, job opportunities, etc.

2) Content orientation: quantitative data on theoretical and practical related disciplines

3) Educational material: qualitative data on the ICZM related material (textbooks, academic papers, grey literature, good practices guides, bad practices guides, case studies, websites, etc.) used (see also Catalogue of existing ICZM educational material)

Chapter 4. Results

See also Survey Results

The questionnaire was finally distributed via e-mail to a total of 82 courses identified in 9 EU Member States as well as international organizations working in Europe during the year 2007, from which 40 questionnaires were finally received, giving an overall response rate of 48.78%.

Courses were differentiated by:

  • Course Type -refers to the type of knowledge being taught (education vs. training);
  • Course Source -refers to the type of institution. Courses can be divided into academic and non-academic (university or non-university based, respectively);
  • Course Level -refers to the (i.e. undergraduate, postgraduate);
  • Course Span -refers to the weight given to coastal management specifically within the course (i.e. an entire course dedicated to coastal management vs. a module on coastal management within a course); and
  • Course Delivery -refers to the types of delivery mechanisms (i.e. classroom, distance learning, e-learning).

The analysis of the characteristics and contents of the courses are based on these typologies, especially on the categories of education and training. They have also been examined from a geographical perspective, offering a comparison between countries. In this regard, the level of representativeness was taken into account, by considering the response rate for each country.

Chapter 5. Conclusions

This type of comparatively systematic information provides a framework within which education and training efforts can be meaningfully evaluated from a regional perspective. The main conclusions regarding the State of the Art of education and training for ICZM in Europe are summarized in the following headings: (i) level of maturation of ICZM; (ii) balance between ICZM approaches; and (iii) level of interconnection between the educational effort and the market demand.

Based on the survey conclusions, some broad recommendations to enhance education and training efforts are also provided.

Chapter 6. References

The list of references of the review is provided as separate CoastalWiki article.

Chapter 7. Annexes

  1. Questionnaire;
  2. List of identified institutions (See also Catalogue of ICZM related courses in Europe);
  3. List of surveyed institutions; and
  4. Data collected.


  1. Rupprecht Consult & International Ocean Institute 2006. Evaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe -Final Report, Cologne, Germany
  2. Cicin-Sain B, Knecht R, Vallega A, Harakunarak A. Education and training in integrated coastal management: lessons from the international arena. Ocean & Coastal Management 2000; 43:291-330.

The main author of this article is Garriga, Maica
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Garriga, Maica (2019): ICZM Education and Training in Europe. Available from http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/ICZM_Education_and_Training_in_Europe [accessed on 4-07-2020]