Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Legislative Drivers & Sectoral Plan Review of TIDE Estuaries

4. Management Plans & SWOT Analysis

The TIDE estuaries have to comply with various European, national and regional policies, and development and management plans and sectoral strategies. The following list of management drivers have been identified across the four TIDE estuarine systems, under which all sectoral management plans have been collated and assessed.
  • water quality (Water Framework Directive & Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive)
  • nature conservation (Habitats & Species Directive & Wild Birds Directive)
  • flood protection and coastal protection (Flood Risk Management Directive)
  • integrated coastal zone management
  • shipping, ports and pollution prevention
  • economic development (including agriculture, forestry, tourism)
  • Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Tables 5 to 8 in Section 4.3 detail the management plans applicable to each estuary and show the main organisation(s) responsible for the implementation of the plan and their remit. The spatial remit of the plan is provided, together with the main focus of the plan e.g. conservation, recreation, flood protection, ICZM or economy/ports.

Tables 5 to 8 also detail the results of the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities) carried out by each partner for their estuary’s management plans. The Elbe and the Weser groups attempted to have those people responsible for the plans to carry out the SWOT analysis, whereas the Humber and Scheldt groups carried out the SWOT of each plan from an independent viewpoint, but with the results circulated to relevant organisations for comment.

In undertaking the SWOT analyses of the management plans as part of this study, the following points were taken into consideration:

  • What are the highlights of the management plan?
  • Are unique (or unusual) resources being drawn upon (and, if so, what are they)?
  • What factors would be central in the management plan’s approach being adopted or transferred to plans in the future?
  • What aspects of the management plan could be improved?
  • What apparent pitfalls within the management plans have led to limited implementation?
  • Does the management plan provide opportunities to incorporate future changes? Opportunities can come changes in relation to ‘new’ technology, environmental changes or changes in government policy or societal desire.
  • Is the management plan threatened by funding, long term vision or political will?
The outputs from the SWOT analyses were used to provide an indication of the ‘success’ of each management plan and to assist in identifying those approaches and techniques that should be considered further. The SWOT analysis is aimed to indicate what the estuary does better than another estuary, what other estuaries do better than them, whether the estuary is making the most of the opportunities available and how an estuary should respond to changes in the external environment.  Any notable findings on best practice are included in the final TIDE best management practice deliverables.

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