Approved Projects database

Show all projects


Combining Sea and Coastal Planning in Europe


Summary: The C-SCOPE partnership was created to achieve a seamless, integrated approach to land and sea planning and management. The purpose of the project is to provide the foundation for strong, vibrant and sustainable coastal economies, which are in harmony with the environment.

Involving all maritime sectors in their endeavours, both partners are concerned with encouraging and promoting sustainable and integrated management of the coast and ensuring that its inherent natural and cultural qualities are maintained and enhanced for the benefit of future generations.

The project will achieve its objectives by developing a framework for integrating terrestrial and marine planning, tools for achieving sustainable coastal economies and environments – such as a planning tool for decision-making in the coastal zone, a coastal atlas and indicators – and engaging with stakeholders on their commitment to ICZM.
Timeframe: 01.07.2008 - 30.06.2012
Total project budget: € 1 790 867
Total amount of ERDF requested: € 895 433
Grant rate: 50 %
Status: Closed
Web address:
Priority and Operational objective addressed:Priority 2 a. Promote and improve the development of activities linked to integrated management of coastal zones, maritime resource and estuaries
Lead Partner:
Provincie West-Vlaanderen
Project Coordinator:
Other partners:
Dorset County Council


What was the project trying to achieve?

The C-SCOPE partners wished to test an integrated approach to land and sea planning and management to provide the foundation for sustainable coastal economies in harmony with the environment. Delivery through a ‘bottom- up’ approach would inspire a sense of stewardship for the coast and ownership of the outputs, resulting in fewer conflicts and more opportunities for various sectors.

Improved co-ordination, planning and management at the coast were central to the C-SCOPE project. In support of the Two Seas Programme and the EU integrated Maritime Policy the project aimed to help prepare and implement integrated strategies, and to encourage networks of best practice in coastal and marine management. It aimed to achieve a ‘coastal and marine planning framework’ through the production of coastal and marine plans for two pilot Marine Management Areas (MMAs).

The results would allow a more holistic view of planning matters, reduce conflict and any negative impacts on shore and sea, and allow more effective working between the natural environment, in the context of increased risks from climate change. C-SCOPE also aimed to provide the tools to support joined-up land/sea planning. This resulted in the creation of two coastal planning tools, the coastal atlas in Belgium and the Dorset Coastal Planning tool. New and updated sustainability indicators add value to these new tools.

What were the activities implemented?

C-SCOPE focused on three key activities to deliver the aims and objectives of the project.

Activity 1 ‘Developing a framework for integrating terrestrial and marine planning’ involved the development of a Marine Plan by each partner at different spatial scales within locally designated Marine Management Areas (MMAs).

Tasks for Activity 1 included:

- Establishment of specialised Task and Finish Groups to help develop the Marine Plans

- Production of a detailed seabed map for the Dorset Marine Management Area using multi-beam, drop-down video and grab-sampling surveys.

- Production of a Dorset Landscape and Seascape Character Assessment and offshore renewable capacity study

- Production of a socio-economic report, forecasting document and interactions matrix

- Production of maritime sector inventory reports (Topic Papers) and an MMA description document

- Identifying a set of sustainability indicators to incorporate within the Marine Plan

- Gathering and analysis of sectoral information in terms of spatial distribution, existing management agreements and current policy arrangements to complete a model Marine Plan for both MMAs, through extensive stakeholder engagement

- Implementing a Sustainability Appraisal alongside the Marine Plan development

Activity 2 focused on ‘tools for achieving sustainable coastal economies and environments’ and involved the production of a planning tool called Coastal Explorer Planning (renamed Dorset Coastal Planning) to provide information on prevailing policies, ecology, current uses and land/seascape features to professional planners, developers and other key stakeholders to inform planning and decision-making in the coastal zone.

Activity 2 included:

- Establishing specialised Task and Finish Groups to advise the development of the Explorer planning tool

- Recruitment of specialist web developer to deliver non-GIS elements of the tool

- Preparation of links between C-SCOPE website and Coastal Explorer and related communication actions

- Workshop to identify the types of policies and guidance pages required for the tool

Activity 3 focused on ‘achieving commitment to ICZM through stakeholder engagement’ through the establishment of a coastal forum in Belgium and the development of a coastal information source called - iCoast - a map-based tool allowing the general public to access downloadable coastal information via the Internet.

Tasks for activity 3 included:

- Establishing a Belgian Coast Forum using the Dorset Coast Forum as an exemplar model

- Establishing an iCoast task and finish group who were responsible for helping to develop its content

- Collation of all relevant data, information and codes of practice

- Recruitment of specialist web developer to design and deliver functional aspects of the website

- Development of the iCoast website

- Stakeholder workshops and carried out online questionnaires to feed into development of iCoast

- Population of Explorer Planning database with maps, policy information and data from European, national, regional and local plans and strategies.


What were the key results of the project?

Results for Activity 1 focused on Marine Plans and the evidence base to support them, also a combined lessons learned report on integrated marine/land planning focusinf on the Belgian and Dorset coast. The coastal and marine management plans and vision documents have been sent to the responsible authorities for further consideration. C-SCOPE has raised the awareness about the importance of cross-sectoral working and the importance of the land-sea interface.

The combined report on integrated marine/land planning has also incorporated methods and key messages on stakeholder engagement. It focuses on governance, purpose and scale of the two partners’ marine plans, stakeholder engagement and key messages from the project.

The key results of Activity 2 are the partners’ versions of Coastal Explorer Planning. Sustanability indicators, were included in the Coastal atlas and linked to the Dorset Marine Plan. Dorset Coastal Planning contains 203 terrestrial and marine data-sets, including the Marine Plan, which successfully integrates land and sea planning policies.

A database on the tool provides a full inventory of all European, national, regional and local plan policies that are relevant to the Dorset Coast, providing summaries and links to the original documents. The existing Belgian Coastal Atlas was updated, expanded and upgraded to a Coastal Explorer, an interactive and dynamic tool with over 200 layers.

Activity 3 results included a Communication Strategy which identified key target audiences, the messages we should be targeting them with and the types of media we could use to get these messages across. iCoast, an innovative educational web based information source for public use was also produced. The website acts as a ‘soft-management’ tool to ensure people carry out coastal activities in a sustainable way. In Belgium, a Coastal Forum was established with participants increasing each year.

Did all partners and territories benefit from the results?

The marine management plans are considered very valuable by the responsible authorities, who will now take the work forward. Although the work within C-SCOPE was done on a non-statutory basis, all stakeholders were highly prepared to cooperate and support the end results. These can now serve the statutory procedures on Marine Spatial Planning.

The Dorset Coastal Planning tool is one of the first of its kind in the UK. It will leave planners, developers, consultees and other decision makers with an ability to make better and faster planning decisions, based on recently collated, quality-assessed data.

Also the Belgian Coastal Atlas and iCoast will lead to an increased and shared knowledge amongst local stakeholders about the coastal and marine environment.

Other benefits include better communication between stakeholders and increased knowledge and capacity to work with national marine planners, in the future, as well as responsible authorities (eg Marine Management Organisation in UK), marine planning practitioners and academics all drawning on the experiences of the project to help inform their future activities. Other European-funded projects have benefited from shared best-practise. Local stakeholders have benefited from increased knowledge, and have had a direct say in how they would like their coastline to be managed.

In general, the final beneficiaries are the coastal communities, local businesses and other stakeholders who draw on the ecosystem goods and services that the marine and coastal environment provides them with.

What were the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?

Immediate effects of the C-SCOPE project are focused around the capacity to better manage the coastal and marine environment. The developed planning tools enable better decision making and more sustainable use of the MMA. Although it is too early to measure the outcomes of the Marine Plans, its sustainable development policies should help to ensure the coast and marine environment are protected and enhanced for current and future generations. It will ensure that the communities living there are healthy and resilient and that the coastal economy will thrive.


What was the real added-value of doing this cross-border project?

By working together the partners have exploited the advantages of their respective skills. Each partner has its own strength, that is exactly why the partners decided to work together on C-SCOPE. The partners complemented each other and had a common aim: developing coastal planning tools, setting up a MSP process and engaging with stakeholders. The experience of both partners proved very valuable to successfully implement the project activities. The Belgian Coordination Centre has helped Dorset with implementation of coastal sustainability indicators, and Dorset has assisted Belgium with the establishment of the Belgian Coastal Forum.
Also it was a good introduction of DCF to participating in Interreg projects. The LP has been involved in several coastal Interreg projects before, and could thus share the experience.

Have any synergies been developed with other projects or networks?

The involvement of the Coordination Centre in the EU ICZM expert Group and different cross-border coastal networks such as the RSD (Rijn-Schelde-Delta) network and the International Coastal Atlas Network ICAN provided the opportunity to spread the results to a wider group of ICZM experts from all European countries. Best practices in C-SCOPE have been shared in several other ongoing and future European projects, such as the Interreg projects IMCORE (Innovative Management For Europe´s Changing Coastal Resource), SUSCOD (Sustainable Coastal Development), LiCCo (Living with a Changing Coast) and Cordiale (Interreg IV A France (Channel) – England), BLAST (Bringing Land and Sea Together, Interreg IV North Sea), SHAPE (Shaping an Holistic Approach to Protect the Adriatic Environment between Coast and Sea), Coastal Communities 2150 (Interreg 2 Seas).

Key messages and key lessons shared by the project

Only having two partners was key to success and made the project overall very productive. The focus is on delivering project outputs, and it is really efficient to agree on joint actions.

Also, there are guarantees that partners really support the project Activities and have a common understanding about these. In larger projects, partners often have different understandings and ideas about implementation, and experience learns that a lot of time can be spent trying to clear this out.

Also, there are administrative and cultural difference in the way that project partners from different countries work. It is important not to get wrapped up in minor differences which may put the timely delivery of project outputs at risk.


Sustainability and long lasting effect at project level

The outputs were provided on a memory stick and distributed to key stakeholders nationally and internationally and the website will remain operational long after the project closes.
The partners will continue to disseminate knowledge gained to other organisations with Project Managers remain in post, which will help to maintain continuity of knowledge and the Dorset Marine Plan and the vision for Heist MMA have been delivered to the respective responsible bodies, who will now take the work forward.
In Belgium, the position paper on MSP proved successful in placing MSP on the political agenda and in Dorset the Coastal Planning tool will be maintained by DCF likewise in Belgium with the Coastal Atlas being maintained by the Coordination Centre on ICZM.
An Action Plan for income from iCoast has been produced, and DCF will continue to promote the website and explore future funding opportunities. It will provide information for the visitors to the Dorset coast during the 2012 Olympic sailing events. The Belgian Coastal Forum will still be organised yearly, after having a good start up through C-SCOPE.

Sustainability and long lasting effect at networking level

Project partners had an excellent working relationship and will definitely remain in contact. They will continue to help each other where possible, and would ideally like to work together again in the future. It is now up to the national authorities to take the work of C-Scope forward, as these key stakeholders have been involved from the very beginning and as good working relationships were established, there is a sense of ownership of the end reports and other products.
At a regional level within the partnership, C-SCOPE proved very valuable to engage with local stakeholders with many new contacts and networks having been established. In Belgium, the Coastal Forum is certainly now seen as THE coastal event of the year, and has led to very good exposure for the Coordination centre on ICZM.
Also the Task & Finish groups were a perfect way to engage new stakeholders or to have stronger bonds with others. International contacts were made and the C-SCOPE team was invited to numerous events, as their MSP work was seen is ground breaking and innovative.

What’s next?

Both Belgian and Dorset Project Partners are currently involved in other EU funded projects running until 2015. The Dorset Coast Forum intends to run a workshop in May 2013 to discuss their ‘next big project’, to horizon scan and consider where the future of coastal and marine management is headed, and develop a project which will build upon the outputs of C-SCOPE, but also develop the understanding of new issues that are likely to present themselves over the next few years. The Coordination centre on ICZM will do the same within their partnership.

The collaboration between the DCF and the ICZM Coordination Centre has been excellent and we hope very much that we can work together and with other partners to pursue the 2014-2020 Interreg funding round to deliver new creative and innovative project outputs.



No videos available at the moment

Web links:

No web links available at the moment


No images available at the moment