The current, individual, national State-of-the-Art reports have been compiled as a result of successive decisions of the HEMCOM Group on Nature Conservation and Coastal Management (HELCOM - Habitat). They contain the latest information about important aspects of ICZM and have been peer reviewed by eight of the nine countries. It is the intention to use the document as a basis to produce a Common Approach for ICZM in the region. Each country file has been written in a standardised way to enable the information to be compared and contrasted. Each report describes the national coastline and explains the formal definition of the coast and any setback lines policy. This is followed by chapters on coastal management & spatial planning in the coastal zone, and coastal & marine environmental and nature conservation policy. For each of these three chapters, the involved authority, the policy developed and the legislation in use is delineated. Tourism & recreation and coastal defence are discussed within the framework of economic developments, important sectors and trends. At this point, the current state of ICZM is considered in relation to the legal framework and completed, ongoing & related ICZM projects. A short, independent evaluation by the PROCOAST group is then added. Finally, NGOs involved in ICZM are listed as are the reference sources for the compilation of the document.
From these nine reports, it may be concluded that, although no State - as is the case in the rest of Europe - has specific legislation relating to ICZM, existing instruments can be used to accommodate the implementation of ICZM within an individual country's national borders and, therefore, within the Baltic region as a whole. The main challenge for HELCOM will be to take the implementation of these individual ICZM projects in each of the member States to a systematic approach at an international level.