This paper provides an assessment of local stakeholder needs along the Scottish coastline and considers the degree to which performance improvements within Scottish ICZM can be made.
The paper is structured into three parts.
The first part of the paper provides a review of the benefits to be secured from improved stakeholder capacity and considers the main challenges facing coastal communities in Scotland. Particular emphasis is given to the impact of social and economic change upon community welfare and development needs.
The second part of the paper then provides an assessment of the degree to which existing ICZM initiatives in Scotland have accounted for such needs.
The final part of the paper considers the significance of local community partnerships in generating performance enhancements and makes recommendations for improved use of capacity building approaches within ICZM initiatives.
The analysis reveals that although the Scottish coastline is being threatened by a range of significant community related impacts, Scottish ICZM initiatives have failed to empower local stakeholders. This has consequently limited their ability to tackle issues such as population instability, economic decline, unemployment and deprivation. It is suggested that greater emphasis needs to be placed on developing initiatives that allow for greater levels of community autonomy and which recognise the links between community capacity and socio-economic development.
In response, this paper argues that ICZM performance can be improved in Scotland by considering the development of community based partnerships. Based on co-management between community, government, business and other interested parties, approaches have emerged in Scotland that aim to equip local communities with the ability to take control of their own development trajectories. The challenge facing ICZM in Scotland is to encourage those involved in ICZM initiatives to respond to the lessons learnt from these community partnerships.
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