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Czarnecka-Zawada, S.. Rechtlicher Rahmen für ein IKZM in Polen - Stand und Vorschläge für die Verbesserung. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 111-116. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


The legal framework for ICZM in Poland - state and proposals for its improvement

The main regulations that apply to ICZM in Poland consist of legal acts: the Sea Areas Act of the Republic of Poland and the Maritime Administration, the Spatial Planning and Economics Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Nature Conservation Act, the Water Act as well as the Coastal Protection Act and The Programme for the Odra - 2006. Basic definitions for ICZM are contained in the Sea Areas Act of the Republic of Poland and the Maritime Administration. This includes a delineation of internal waters, the territorial sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as the institution of the coastal belt (consisting of a technical and a protection belt) as a new category. Coastal belts are the starting point for ICZM in Poland. As in German law, Polish law does not define the coastal zone, but in Poland the coastal belt serves a similar function. There is uncertainty whether this is sufficient or whether the coastal zone will need to be established as a special category in its own right. The next important aspect of ICZM is spatial planning and economic use of the sea area. The spatial plan for this area can be accepted in form of a regulation. Another regulation is necessary to specify the conditions of this plan. It will be very important for ICZM in Poland that both of these regulations are passed at the next opportunity. Two programmes “The Programme of coastal protection” and “The Programme for the Odra – 2006” could be an example for implementation. The first one deals with the protection of coast and the second one with the rehabilitation of the Oder River. Implementation of ICZM could make use of a similar instrument which could be based on the same legal basis. Polish law also provides instruments for collecting and distributing information about the environment. It also guarantees public access and public participation in the decision-making process. Both of these could be employed for ICZM. The implementation of international and EU rules and standards in Polish law has been successful as the legal framework for this already exists. The main problem seems to be of another nature – it is the generally low ecological awareness and lack of public engagement when it comes to the sea and coastal problems. These are issues that should be solved.

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