Policies and Programs Toward Sustainable Coastal Development in Ecuador's Special Area Management Zones: Creating Vision, Consensus, and Capacity

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by Donald D. Robadue, Jr., Univ of Rhode Island, Narragansett, United States,
Luis Arriaga, Univ of Rhode Island, Narragansett, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93

Abstract: The Special Area Management Project was a deliberate experiment by the Government of Ecuador to find out whether the Coastal Resources Management Program, CRMP, could (1) engage local residents, resource users and authorities in an open planning process to address the future use of coastal resources and (2) use the planning process to build a bridge toward implementation both through creating local capacity and establishing a national commitment for implementation. Coastal communities were asked to jointly create a vision for the future environmental quality and development of critical areas, develop a local consensus on the policies and actions needed to reach this desired future, and identify practical actions which would create the capacity to govern coastal resource use in a context where all existing agencies and policies had failed. This paper describes the strategy, structure and process followed by the CRMP to achieve the central result of the experiment, which was the successful completion of an extensive public review process and local approval of the detailed coastal management plans, followed by adoption by the National Coastal Resources Commission in May 1992. It also examines the steps taken by the program to make the transition to implementation of the plans and examines the role of special area planning in managing other reaches of the Ecuadorian coast.

Subject Headings: Coastal processes | Sustainable development | Coastal management | Resource management | Developing countries | Project management | Environmental issues | Bridge management | Local government | Ecuador | South America

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