Challenges of implementing integrated coastal zone management into local planning policies, a case study of Queensland, Australia
This review traces an almost 25-year history of implementing cornerstones of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and climate change adaption into the regulatory planning and decision-making in Queensland, Australia. It illustrates the seesawing changes between ICZM and the general planning policy and statutory framework to accommodate the political struggle of incorporating key climate change adaptation measures in sought after and economically important coastal areas. The result of this process is mixed. It could be best described as an almost total integration of ICZM into, rather than with, other legislation; and this has been accompanied by an ever-diminishing political focus on coastal management in favour of mostly project specific, generic risk and hazard assessment processes. This leaves local authorities with an even greater need of reliable and yet affordable scientific and legal tools, to effectively deal with these risks. The broader implication of the Queensland ICZM history certainly raises the question about the extent of integration that is desirable for coastal zone management, notably in conjunction with the ongoing debate about climate change adaptation. Although the State government has recently introduced a new climate change adaptation strategy and is financially supporting coastal local government in developing long-term adaptation plans, the concept of ICZM in Queensland should be revisited. In other words, there is still a need for practical approaches of implementing ICZM into existing regulatory planning, pollution control, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation frameworks.