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An International Programme

France proposed to the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) to  implement  a Coastal Area Management
Programme  (CAMP)  project  in  the  coastal  area  of  the  Var  department,  which  launched  an  active integrated  coastal  management  policy  in  2008.  This  proposal  was  part  of  the  Working  Framework Programme presented at the Sixteenth Meeting of held in Marrakech, from November 3 to 5, 2009.

The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and the French authorities have agreed to conduct a feasibility study for a CAMP project to include the Var department coastal area. The French Ministry in charge  of  the  Environment  (Ministry  of  Ecology,  Sustainable  Development  and  Energy),  the  General Council of the Var and PAP/RAC of MAP launched the feasibility study at a meeting held in Toulon, on February 3, 2011. The proposals and recommendations were subsequently presented at the feedback meeting of September 23, 2011.

The Agreement between the Government of the French Republic and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / MAP concerning the CAMP Var (France) was signed on September 3, 2014.

Agreement signature

Mr Gaetano Leone, UNEP/MAP Coordinator and Mr Xavier Sticker, French Ambassador for the Environnement

The Action plan for the implementation of the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean (2012‐2019) was
adopted  at the Seventeenth Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention held  in Paris, from February 8 to 10, 2012. The purpose of the Action Plan was primarily to support the Parties in their ratification process of the Protocol by explaining what has led to the entry into force of the ICZM Protocol  on  March  24,  2011.  The  goal  of  supporting  all  the  Parties  in  their transposition  and implementation  of  the  Protocol  was  also  set.  The  CAMP  Var,  its  results and  lessons  learned  will therefore serve as an example of practical implementation of the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean.


At the national level, the National Marine and Coastal Strategy is being developed. The decree No. 2012‐219 of February 16, 2012, specifies the conditions for the development of this strategic document, as well  as  indications  for  the  development  of  the  related  strategic  shoreline  documents.  The  national consultations  in  France  are  carried  out  at  the  level  of  the  Maritime  Shoreline  Councils  and  of  the National  Council  of  Marine  and  Coastal  Areas.  At the  10th  Maritime  and  Coastal  Economy  Congress, which was held on December 3, 2014, Mr. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, announced that a debate would take place in the Parliament in 2015 to define the national maritime and coastal strategy. On January 14, 2015, a first discussion on French maritime policy was held in the National Assembly concluded by Mr. lain Vidal, Secretary of State for Transport, the Sea and Fishing. During parliamentarians’ interventions, importance  was  given  to  integrated  coastal  zone  management  and  particular  attention  paid  to regional/local projects.

The CAMP Var will focus on the establishment of a consultative body, being a place of mediation and governance  at the  local scale  of the  County,  complementary to the  Maritime  Shoreline  Council.  This structure  was  conceived  as  a  laboratory  to  stimulate  a  dynamic  dialogue,  the  development  of  a governance  mechanism  and  to  highlight  the  successes  and  difficulties  encountered in the implementation of integrated coastal zone management policies.

The  distribution  of  powers  between the state  and  its  decentralised services,  public  institutions,  local authorities and the combination between international conventions, European standards, national laws and  local  planning schemes  can  be  complex.  Coastal management  is sometimes seen  as  a "legal  and administrative mix" synonymous with difficult understanding of "who does what" or " who should do what". This echoes to the lag between an administrated and a lived territory.

The area of the project

The  Var  department  covers  an  area  of 5,973  km2 and  has 432 km of the coastline of which 80 km account for ten islands and islets. 70 km are occupied by military establishments, 40 km are urban areas and ports, 92 km beaches and 230 km are rocky shores.

Its population is 967,000 inhabitants of which 554,197 living in the 27 coastal municipalities (between
Saint  Cyr  les  Lecques  and  St.  Raphael).  This  population  has  a strong summer  variation since the  Var department is the first French tourist department outside the Paris area and the marine area is subject o intense maritime activity.

On  its  coastal  territory,  the  Var  department  includes  a  number  of  coastal  and  maritime  planning structures  and strategies, new or old, such  as the National Park of Port‐Cros  created  in 1963, marine parts of three Territorial Coherence schemes (ScoTs) ‐ Provence Méditerranée Grimaud / Saint‐Tropez and Var East, as well as the Bay contract of the harbour of Toulon (2013‐2018).

Objectives and guidelines

The key objectives of the CAMP Var project are: to steer research and study of the project area; to
improve consistency of local policies; and to contribute to  making the integrated management of coastal zones intelligible and accessible to relevant actors. To realise these objectives, the CAMP Var project proposes as follows:

  • To establish a Sea & Coast Conference, first as an informal forum for meeting and mediation to facilitate communication between the different actors in the Var coastal area. This conference to be in charge for the coasts of Var is essential for the implementation of integrated management and improving the future development of the area.
  • To carry out an administrative diagnosis of the Var coastal area. A study will be developed on the regulatory and institutional characteristics of different jurisdictions, structures and planning bodies in charge for the coast. The findings will help have a clear state‐of‐the‐art, so as to propose ways of uilding synergies and to encourage a more efficient and consistent development.
  • To actively involve, from the very beginning, the civil society in order to facilitate the CAMP projectimplementation. Further, it will be necessary to develop practical and informative tools, promoting afree access to coast and sea.
  • To support "laboratory" initiatives at the scale of micro‐territories, for example, on the Iles d’Or
    where the activity on "cohabitation on an archipelago" and "development of a sustainable way of life" has already been launched. Participatory processes in which inhabitants and users of the coasts and the sea will be included, will help better know the coast they are living on. Participatory approaches will eventually include subjective mapping and prospective scenarios building, to ensure  long‐term public participation.
  • To serve as an interface between international and local initiatives, build bridges between global thinking (the implementation of the ICZM Protocol, adaptation to Climate variability and change, CAMPs networking and alike) and local practice.

"GREEN" project management

CAMP Var  actors  committed to "think  green" throughout the project  activities  and will seek to make decisions taking into account their environmental impacts. The aim is to include "green thinking" in the management process of each project activity through the development of techniques and promotion of ecological systems, e.g. addressing the issue of rising transport emissions and excessive consumption of paper (paperless system to apply to communication, meetings and alike).

Organization and structure of the project

The National Project Co-ordinator  is responsible for the  general supervision of  all project  activities  at local, national and international levels, and those implemented by national participants in cooperation with UNEP/MAP. He will work closely with PAP/RAC’s Co-ordinator of the CAMP France (Var) and with the  French  PAP/RAC  Focal  Point,  the  Director  of  the  European  and  International  Delegation  of Conservatoire du Littoral. For part of its contribution to the project, the Conservatoire provides an office for the National Co-ordinator. The Steering Committee, including members of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable  Development  and  Energy,  the  General  Council  of  the  Var,  the  Water  Agency  Rhône Méditerranée Corse, the Conservatoire du Littoral and PAP/RAC of UNEP/MAP will be responsible for the overall supervision of the Project.