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.
Back to overview reports

Legislative Drivers & Sectoral Plan Review of TIDE Estuaries

1a. Overview

This report details the environmental drivers affecting sectoral management plans of the four TIDE estuaries of the Elbe, Humber, Scheldt and Weser. Many current management measures applied to the TIDE estuarine systems will be driven by international obligations and European Directives, with further requirements also enforced by each of the Member State (or federal province) national policies.

Each estuarine system will also have its own specific drivers based on a range of anthropogenic activities as influenced by the physico-chemical attributes of the system. These drivers and legislative/management responses are mostly addressed through differing management groups and systems, based both on the national framework and more local initiatives.

In order to share best practice between the four TIDE estuaries, and to understand their marine planning and governance, it is necessary to understand the individual Member State legislative management frameworks including the high level and local drivers, the management organisations and their responsibilities.

There are a plethora of management plans in existence for sectoral management. The strength of a plan is that it should have the inherent ability to enforce its provisions (be statutory in nature) and should ideally take into account other users of the areas (be multi-sectoral). It should also have sufficient spatial coverage to provide a broad management remit for the system.

As part of the TIDE programme, management plans for each of the estuaries have been assessed for their internal strengths and weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats. Based on this information, we can identify good practice (and bad practice if relevant) which can be used as an exemplar for addressing both generic and specific management needs. Examples of best practice will be shared between the TIDE partners to facilitate greater awareness and share management initiatives, as well as any key findings being integrated into the best practice management plan deliverables.

To develop holistic management planning frameworks for estuaries building on existing structures and using a multi-manager sectoral framework, we need to have an understanding of:
  • the management issues in the TIDE estuaries;
  • the methods used to deliver the management;
  • the basis that management is delivered;
  • the efficacy of the management tools;
  • the best tools/plans available to meet these needs;
  • gaps in management.
This will allow us to develop a framework for future management plans.

Back to top