The Baltic Sea Region developed into a dynamic area of cross-border cooperation and transnational economic networking. Networks of scientists and research institutes as well as international management agreements already exist there, but the scientific progress is blocked by a lack of cooperation among funding organizations.
About the German-Polish Coastal Dialogues
The first German-Polish Coastal Dialogue was held in Międzyzdroje in July 2005. The goal of this conference was the exchange of experiences between German and Polish experts involved in the ICZM survey in the German Federal State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Polish Voivodship West Pomerania, especially as this relates to regional institutions ICZM processes. Among the topics discussed were legal instruments for cross-border cooperation, the development of tourism, the process of Regional Agenda 21, spatial planning, the EU Water Framework Directive, flood defense plans, and the role and significance of nature protection for sustainable regional development. The project “Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the German Oder Estuary Region” (“ICZM-Oder”) organized this first German-Polish Dialogue. The project itself, which began in May 2004, is one of two German national reference projects on ICZM supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The present conference, which represents a continuation of the dialogues between Germany and Poland, will advance this process by including other eastern European countries from the Baltic Sea Region to discuss environmental problems and controversies in the region. The conference will present the interdisciplinary results of the ICZM-Oder project and the environmental discussion in West Pomerania, striving to embed this discourse into the ongoing interdisciplinary discussions among the eastern European Baltic Sea countries.
The conference will bring together regional expertise in the field of coastal and marine processes, to consider the physical, biological, and human dimensions of sustainable use of coastal and resources. The focus will be the Baltic coastal zone and the influence of its development on the hinterland (and vice versa), as well as coastal management as an instrument to resolve problems.
New research questions which could be addressed inter and transdisciplinarily should help to identify, strengthen and expand networks in the Baltic Sea/Oder Estuary Region. A wide array of themes around natural and social science issues should evolve, which touch on important coastal and marine processes.
The ICZM-Oder project will reach the end of its first phase at the time of this conference. The conference can thus serve as a means to evaluate the phase I research results and recommend necessary follow-up work in the context of BONUS for the Baltic Sea Research Funding Collaboration. Presentations and proceedings from the conference will be summarized in a Conference Report.