Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Education

Background and Objective

Of the 12 fundamental measures specified in the Basic Act on Ocean Policy enacted in 2007, the 9th concerns the "Comprehensive Management of Coastal Areas," points out the importance of integrated management of land and sea areas, and requires the appropriate measures to be taken by stating that "The State shall take necessary measures for the coastal sea areas and land areas, where recognized as suitable for the measures to be implemented in a unified manner upon natural and social conditions, to be managed properly, by the regulatory and other measures to the activities implemented in an integrated manner (Article 25)". In view of cultivating the necessary personnel to implement these management activities, we will endeavor to lay down the inter- and cross-disciplinary educational structures at various universities, to cultivate people with expert knowledge to put the comprehensive management of coastal areas into practice.

Considering this, we carried out the "Investigative Study into the Educational Curriculum of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM)" at universities from fiscal 2010 to 2012 and created and proposed a model curriculum. In addition, we provisionally examined measures to introduce education on ICM at each university to make the most of the study; however, we understood that further examinations and preparations were needed to realize the implementation and that mid- and long-term efforts of universities were indispensable.

In Article 9 (1) "Implementing Comprehensive Management of Coastal Zones" of the 2013 Basic Plan on Ocean Policy - measures that the government should comprehensively and systematically implement - it is stated that, "For ensuring the safety of coastal zones, establishing multiple uses for them, creating desirable environments in these zones and developing attractive and autonomous regions, one must make efforts to comprehensively manage land areas and marine zones together in accordance with regional peculiarities, with the participation, coordination and collaboration of many different players based on independence of individual regions, while building consensus among the parties concerned." For this purpose, securing personnel who can undertake these efforts is indispensable. It is hoped that promoting interdisciplinary education and research of the coastal areas at regional universities, etc. will provide personnel who will carry out the region-based comprehensive management of coastal areas. To this end, it is necessary that each entity should introduce curricula that are designed to promote interdisciplinary education and research of Integrated Coastal Management, and that we cultivate personnel while cooperating with regional societies.

Furthermore, Article 12 "Enhancement of Citizens' Understanding of the Sea and Fostering of Human Resources" of the above-mentioned measures also encourages people to "Improve curriculums at universities and other institutes so as to promote interdisciplinary education and research." Education on Integrated Coastal Management is also regarded as one of these measures, as it is an interdisciplinary academic field.

To promote these efforts, Japan has to make policy proposals relating to necessary assistance measures, while collaborating with universities, etc. to examine issues and solutions in implementing education on comprehensive management of coastal areas, and promote and support the introduction of such education. Additionally, we will work towards the development of our country's comprehensive management of coastal areas by building networks with universities and other entities in East Asia.