Coastal Zone Management Centre

The Netherlands Coastal Zone Management Centre provides worldwide support for proper coastal zone management planning and services for sustainable development in coastal zones.


The Coastal Zone Management Centre in the Netherlands functions as an information database on global, regional and national activities relating to the sustainable development of coasts. It is also a reference centre for:


The CZM Centre is a part of - and is located within - the National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (RIKZ), a sub-division of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. The National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (RIKZ) aims to promote the sustainable development and use of Dutch estuaries, coastal zones and seas and to protect the country against pollution and flooding from the sea.


Throughout history, the Dutch have fought a constant battle against the sea. The challenge of building a society in this vulnerable, low-lying deltaic area, more than half of which lies below mean sea level, has led to the development of innovative approaches to coastal zone management. Early approaches were mainly technological, social and economic - and therefore sectorally oriented - but over the years there has been a growing awareness that approaches should also include sustainability in an environmental sense and thus demand integration.

As a result, a well-planned system of dikes and strengthened dunes has been created, supported by coherent physical planning on an national scale and strong mechanisms for inter-agency cooperation developed over the years. This has made it possible to convert low-lying marshy areas into productive agricultural land or densely populated urban areas while maintaining a balance between socio-economic aspirations and environmental quality.

This has required an integrated approach and prompted the establishment of the Coastal Zone Management Centre by 6 Dutch ministries, reflecting the interactive nature of the field. The six Dutch cooperating ministeries are:

Ministery of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W) Ministery of Education and Science (O&W) Ministery of International Cooperation (DGIS) Ministery of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV) Ministery of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment (VROM) Ministery of Economic Affairs (EZ)

These ministries actively support the Centre. Our experience in the field of integrated coastal zone management can be shared with other coastal nations and help resolve coastal issues in areas with similar problems. The growing need for regional and global cooperation in the management of coastal areas and the recent repeated calls for stronger international action to promote the concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) led the Dutch government to establish the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Centre following the World Coast Conference (WCC) held in the Netherlands in the autumn of 1993.

NetCoast is a network for coastal zone management and related policy and research areas operated by the Dutch Coastal Zone Management Centre.

Information Source

Prepared by ...
Mr P. C. Beukenkamp
The Coastal Zone Management Centre
c/o National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management/RIKZ
P.O. Box 20907, 2500 ex The Hague, The Netherlands
Telephone +31 703 114311/364 Facsimile +31 703 114 380
E-Mail [email protected] Web URL