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Thamm, R., Bock, S., Schernewski, G.. Regional Information Systems and Coastal Databases for ICZM in Germany - are they efficient and informative?. In: Schernewski , G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 151-161. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


The challenge of an integrated planning approach to ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) is to fully supply information across all relevant policy and authority levels and across all relevant sectors. In the various management and planning processes information is essential for decision making and stakeholder involvement. In particular the regional level has been identified as an important level to ensure the success of ICZM. Web-based information tools would most likely improve the flow of information in the region. They are freely accessible at any time and are, furthermore, flexible, relatively cheap and can store great quantities of information. Various internet tools such as the Regional Information System ICZM-Oder and Coastal Databases have been developed to support regional and local coastal decision-makers. These tools bundle multidisciplinary ICZM relevant data and information, such as results of scientific projects, policies and strategies as well as spatial data. An increasing interest is shown by users of the regional information system ICZM-Oder and the Coastal Databases. However, they have so far not had any noticeable effects on regional policies and decision making. Although, these tools are promising, there is room for improvement. A more user driven content would increase value and acceptance of these tools. Combining existing tools would be of mutual benefit. The improvement of web-based information tools should also include face-to-face communication. Regional decision-makers can not be reached solely by using indirect information tools. Well focused regional meetings, forums and workshops are necessary too. Finally, the benefits of ICZM need to be communicated to the local and regional decision-makers. If decision-makers and actors in the region are convinced of integrated planning approaches, they are more likely to accept regional information tools and to use them.

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