Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 08 February, 2001

Written Answers. - Coastal Zone Management.

28. Ms McManus asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the steps which have been taken to produce an integrated coastal management plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3346/01]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): The coastal zone is an area of considerable importance in ecological and amenity terms and from the socio-economic perspective, and effective arrangements and procedures for its integrated management in accordance with the principles of sustainability are essential. A report on coastal zone management policy, prepared for my Department and the Departments of the Environment and Local Government and Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands by Brady Shipman Martin and others, was published in 1997. Work by the public bodies concerned on the development of comprehensive policy proposals for an effective coastal zone management framework will be informed by this report, and will take account also of ongoing EU discussions concerning a proposed Council recommendation on integrated coastal zone management. Experience with important local initiatives such as the Bantry Bay Coastal Zone Charter will also constitute a valuable input into the development of coastal zone management planning and policy.

The priority in recent years has been given to the introduction of new legislation and frameworks in relation to, inter alia, planning and development, aquaculture regulation and dumping at sea, as well as local initiatives such as CLAMS. The way is now becoming clear for bringing forward new frameworks which will focus on the interaction between different sectors, agencies and legal frameworks with a view to bringing about a more integrated and holistic approach to coastal zone management. It is the intention in so far as my Department's responsi[378] bilities are concerned to have new legislation brought forward next year.