Mare Nostrum Calls for Unified Criteria for Mediterranean Coastline Delineation
Differences in coastline demarcation rules between EU countries have immense implications on the implementation of the Barcelona Protocol on ICZM
ATHENS, Greece, July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –
The EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project [http://marenostrumproject.eu ] is calling on the
governments of EU countries to establish a task force to propose uniform criteria and
methods for delineating their coastlines.
Speaking at the Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Committee on Cadastre in the EU
on June 24 in Athens, Mare Nostrum initiator Prof. Rachelle Alterman called
for greater legal and cadastral coordination among EU nations on coastal issues.
“Seas are shared, and so should be the rules for delineating the coastline. These
should create a legally sustainable balance between environmental goals, climate change
challenges and property rights,” Alterman stressed. “Without more uniformity the many
layers of international and national laws and policies to protect the seas and coasts
cannot be consistently implemented across the EU.”
One of the problems identified by the Mare Nostrum Project is the existence of major
disparities among the Mediterranean countries in the legal and cadastral rules about
defining the line between sea and coast.
For example, in Greece only about 20 percent of the coast has been demarcated,
sporadically and at different times, often based on landowners’ complaints about
uncertainties. By contrast, in Spain, some 97% of the coastal demarcation has been
completed, However, the legal rules in Spain – though environmentally sound – cause an
inherently fluid line, which must be altered according to major storms. This has instant
implications for private and public land ownership and major uncertainties for
municipalities, landowners and enforcement agencies.
The differences in demarcation criteria for the coastline have immense implications
for key policies in the Barcelona Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management
[http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/barcelona.htm ] (ICZM), and other EU and national
laws such as the definition of a public property zone along the coast, the prohibition of
construction within a setback zone, the control of planning and development and
About Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum is an EU-funded project which aims to explore new ways of protecting and
managing the Mediterranean coastline within the existing ICZM Mediterranean framework. The
project focuses on understanding the “implementation gap” between the Barcelona
Convention’s high expectations and realities on the ground, and on new legal and
institutional tools to improve local practices from the “bottom-up,” one notch at a time.
For further information, please visit http://www.marenostrumproject.eu.
Contact: Dan Gerstenfeld firstname.lastname@example.org +972-52-3745989
SOURCE Mare Nostrum