Environmentally Sound Technologies for Decision Making in Integrated Coastal Management: Prospects of Co-Operation with UNEP-IETC for Education and Training in the Mediterranean
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AbstractThe present crisis in urban management in developing and 'transitioning' countries is largely the result of rapid urbanization and modernization which came to these countries without the basics of planning and management that should have gone hand in hand with them. Because economic growth was the primary goal, the advent of urban development further resulted in the degradation of the urban environment, notably its freshwater and marine resources. Today, the need for urban environmental management has become urgent more than ever especially for decision makers. Urban environmental management is a high level skill that is expected from decision makers - those who have the responsibility to establish priorities and create a balance between urban development and environmental conservation. Knowledge and skills in urban environmental management can make a difference to people faced with a choice, for instance, between protecting a natural coral reef or developing that into a marina for economic and tourism purposes; or between saving a wetland or building on it rows of condominiums for commercial gains; or selecting between an incinerator, composting or landfilling for disposing of solid waste. Above all, it means being able to incorporate environmental considerations into the decision factors. UNEP-IETC is mandated to facilitate the transfer to developing and 'transitioning' countries of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) for urban environmental management as well as for the management of freshwater resources. Considerations of urban environmental factors and the impact of land-based activities on coastal resources enrich the process of integrated coastal management. IETC has developed decision making tools for urban environmental management which would be useful instruments to improve integrated coastal management for the Mediterranean or elsewhere. It has published international source books and technical reports which provide information on ESTs for urban environmental management and freshwater resources management. IETC's information system on ESTs, particularly its tool for accessing and exchanging information called maESTro will be helpful for education and training. Its training modules on urban environmental management could be also adapted to suit the requirements of the Mediterranean for integrated coastal management.