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Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Greece: the legislative framework and its influence on policy making and implementation Konstantinos Lalenis Associated Professor University of Thessaly, Greece
Coastal Zone Characteristics
Coastline Characteristics Coastal regions Coastline length Water depth East Macedonia - Thrace, Central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Ionian Islands, West Greece, Peloponnese, Crete, South Aegean, North Aegean, Central Greece and Attica (only West Macedonia does not have a coast line). 17 400 km Max. depth Aegean Sea: 2 658 m Max. depth Ionian Sea: 5 121 m Islands and islets Around 10 000 making up around 70% of the country’s coastline Maritime zones Territorial sea Breadth 6 nm/median line Area (km²) 114 507
Coastal Zone Definitions
Coastal Zone Definitions • Seashore: is the area of the coast which might be reached by waves in their maximum capacity (maximum referring to the “usually maximum winter waves”). It is public, it cannot be included in urban or regional plans, and permanent constructions are not allowed on it. It can be used for recreation, and non-permanent constructions are allowed for recreational purposes (kiosks, beach bars etc. ). • Beach: is a zone consequent to the seashore, and it is public land. It is usually included in spatial plans of coastal settlements and rural areas, and it is used as free/open space (roads, pedestrian routes, bicycle routes, green spaces etc. ). Building squares and private properties on land start right after the outer boundary of the beach. • Old Seashore: is the zone between the pre-existing shoreline and the new shoreline produced by physical phenomena (erosion, deposition etc).
Legal Aspects & Key Players
Constitutional Reference Article 24 of Greek Constitution (from 1975) • Coastal areas and seashores are characterized as “public good”. • They are elements of the natural environment which constitute a vulnerable ecosystem and which should be under special protection. • Attention is also drawn in their development. It should be “mild” and managed with caution.
Coastal Management Legal Framework Law 2344/1940 On defining the seashore and the beach ü Was the only legislative tool for the development and protection of seashores for almost 61 years in Greece. ü Seashores and beaches can be used in order to serve transport, tourism and industry. They can be leased to individuals. ü Criterion for the latter was the economic benefits of both the State and private actors, and the duration of the lease could not exceed 25 years. ü Declares the seashore as the terrestrial-marine wetted zone and the beach as zone expanded by 20 m landwards from the mean seashore level. ü The development of coastal zones and the accruing economic benefits for the Greek State were given higher emphasis than the citizens’ right to enjoy it as a public good.
Coastal Management Legal Framework Legislation complementary to Law 2344/1940 • L. D. 439/1970 “Complemental Clauses Concerning Seashore”, • L. D. 393/1974 “Complementing L. 2344/40 concerning seashore and beach”, • L. 360/1976 “Concerning Regional Planning and the Environment”, • L. 1337/1983 “Concerning Urban Planning”, • P. D. 234/1984 “Clauses Concerning the Public Sector”, • L. 1650/1986 “Concerning the Environment and its Protection”, • L. 2508/1997 “Sustainable Development of Cities and Communes of Greece, and Other Clauses”, • L. 2742/1999 “Regional Planning and Sustainable Development, and Other Clauses”.
Spatial Planning Legal Framework Law 1337/1983 Urban development and relative provisions Issues significant for coastal zones: • The exclusion of enclosures in a 500 -metre setback zone from the shoreline intended to ensure free access to the sea. • The creation (through the expropriation of privately-owned property for the public good) of public access routes to the sea and the shore. • Illegal constructions on seashores and beaches should be demolished. Law 2742/1999 Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development National Level Special Frameworks for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development : • The Regional Framework for Tourism (directly related to coastal zones). • The Regional Framework for Coastal Areas (under elaboration for the last two years).
Coastal Management Legal Framework Law 2971/2001 On Coasts and Beaches Aimed to accommodate European and International regulations and Guidelines concerning coastal areas. Objectives • Defining seashores and beaches with priority to coastal areas with intense urban development and to areas of high productivity. • Achieving effective protection and management of coastal areas. A new administrative body (part of the Ministry of Finance) was established to manage the coastal areas.
Coastal Management Legal Framework Law 2971/2001 On Coasts and Beaches ü Any stable and/or private construction within a seashore zone is prohibited. The legal constructions are expropriated and fully compensated, and the illegal ones demolished. Properties on seashore also expropriated. ü Exceptions are made for old settlements pre-existing of 1923, where seashore cannot overstep the already existing zone of constructions. ü Constructions on properties initially out of the coastal zone but due to natural erosion gradually in it, exempted from demolition. ü In areas with urban plan, the beach boundary cannot overlap with the official building line. In turn, in expansions of city plans, the building line cannot overlap with the beach boundary.
Coastal Management Legal Framework Law 2971/2001 On Coasts and Beaches ü Beach zone up to 50 m wide. Access roads to the beach of minimum width 10 m. Means: expropriations of land properties. Fences are prohibited in a zone of 500 m from the beach in areas not covered by urban plan. Exceptions: when agricultural fields have to be protected. ü Traditional and historic buildings cannot be included in the beach zone. ü The leasing of seashores and beaches is allowed for works related to trade, industry, land sea transportation, or “other purposes serving the public good”. ü Illegal constructions used as hotels, industries, and fishfarming structures can be legalized. (? ? )
Administrative Structure of Coastal Zones ü Port Departments and Port Organizations are responsible for managing the coastal zone in urban areas. ü Port Organizations Ltd. are managing the ten most important ports in Greece. They prepare the Master Plan for the port area. Comments: • No coordination between Master Plans for Port Organizations and General Development Plans of the Municipalities. • In 2009, Port Organizations of Piraeus sold management and exploitation rights of some port sectors to a Chinese company (COSCO). Despite the initial reactions, there are recent plans for a different administration of ports, and sale to more foreign companies.
Coastal Management Legal Framework Legislation complementary to Law 2971/2001 • L. 3199/2003: This law harmonizes the Greek environmental legislation with the Water Framework Directive (2000/60). • P. D. 51/2007: Regarding the “determination of measures and procedures for integrated water protection and management, in compliance with the provision of Directive 2000/60: Establishing a framework for Community action in the water policy field”, constitutes the substantial harmonization with the National institutional framework of Directive 2000/60. • Joint Ministerial decision 51354/2641/Ε 103/2010: Specifying quality standards for concentrations of certain pollutants and priority substances in surface waters, in compliance with the provisions of Directive 2008/10 of the European Parliament.
Coastal Management Legal Framework New legislation (L. 3894/10 and L. 4146/13 for Strategic investments), adds further regulations and exceptions for the seashore: Rights of use given to investors for coastal zones (by P. D. ), enacted by common ministerial decision (Finance, and related others). New zones created by moving coastal boundary closer to the sea (from fillings etc. ), property of the State and leased or granted with rights of use to the investors. Rights of use of coastal area, beach, lakeshore etc. to the investor for 99 years and rights to construct and use port installations. Expropriations, if needed, to facilitate the investors.
Special Frameworks for Spatial Planning of Tourism Special Framework for Tourism (KYA 67659/2013 FEK 3155 B/12. 2013) The present framework is a third revision of previous ones, which were much criticized as favouring mass tourism (30% of biulding stock, holiday houses) and creating serious threats for the environment (KYA 24208/2009). National area is categorized according to three criteria: a. the intensity of the tourist activity, b. their geomorphology, and c. the vulnerability of the natural resources of each area. Coastal areas and islands are referred to in b. as: islands with highly developed or developing tourism, small islands with problems in their development, deserted or uninhabited islands, and coastal areas of the main land (350 m zones from the seashore to the inland). Economic development, recovery, and exploitation of the potential of tourism as a “steam engine” pulling the country to progress are high in its hierarchy of priorities.
Legal Framework for Illegal Constructions Basis for frameworks for illegal constructions: Law 1337/1983. Legalization for illegal structures made after 1983, unconstitutional. Law 4178/2013 currently in effect. It replaced Law 4014/2011 that in April 2013, the Council of the State ruled it as unconstitutional. Acts of law granting property rights on illegal constructions, forbidden and nullified. Provision for penalties for owners of illegal constructions and also for engineers, notary publics etc. Cases of illegal structures on seashores and beaches exempted from demolition. Formation of the Central Council of Environmental Terms and Conditions, aiming to consult on the outcome of Environmental Impact Assessments studies on specific cases.
Other Planning or Legislative Tools Judicial Remedies- Council of the State Basic principles of the Council of the State: the coastal areas constitute a sensitive ecosystem. They are a “public good” which facilitates the human contact with the sea and the enjoyment of all other sea uses. It has nullified numerous decrees, ministerial decisions, municipal acts, and finally L. 4014/2011 which could endanger the very nature of coastal areas as a valuable ecosystem and a “public good”. Decisions of the Council of the State included: • Characterization as illegal of constructions on coastal zone. • Strict rules for the distance between the building line and the seashore line. • Enforcing construction of access roads to the coasts and prohibiting fencing in 500 m zones from seashore (cases of supposed agricultural land). • Securing a distance of 500 m between the beach boundaries and specific activities (industrial areas, construction sites etc. ) in rural areas.
Conclusions The most severe illegal activities which constitute a threat for the coastal areas are related to illegal construction. On the other hand, the legitimate interventions which also contribute to the degradation of the coastal environment are the uncontrolled development and a profit oriented coastal management. Successive laws had limited effectiveness in reversing the downgrading of coastal areas. For many critics, inadequacies of legislation were the main reason. Criticism was focused on: • Numerous exceptions to the legal provisions of the basic laws, introduced by decrees, ministerial decisions etc. • Recently, an “entrepreneurial” spirit characterized the efforts to legislate for the coastal areas, which loosened the strict environmental protection, facilitated exploitation and increased involvement of the private sector.
Conclusions Additional facts jeopardizing efforts for sustainable coastal management: Ø The inability of the municipalities to implement the legislation about coastal protection, due to lack of finances and resources. Ø The political pressure from interest groups, the political clientelism, and corruption, which also impede and distort implementation of legislation. Ø Lack of coordination of private and public sector for the management of coastal areas. Ø Lack of participation of the interested parties in common actions, in the context of a democratic planning for the coastal areas.
Conclusions Greek legislation concerning sustainable coastal management DESIRABLE POSITIVE FACTORS EXISTING NEGATIVE FACTORS SAFINEIA Clarity, explicitness POLYNOMIA Existence of too many laws ISONOMIA Equal and fair treatment by legislation of all citizens ANTIFASI Inconsistency STATHEROTITA Certainty, stableness ANAPOTELESMATIKOTITA Ineffectiveness SYNTONISMOS Good coordination with policies and implementation ASTATHIA Uncertainty, volatility “…you are so good with words, and in keeping things vague…” Joan Baez, “Diamonds and rust”
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