Resource utilisation Planning, Pilot Study on Arnarfjörður, Westfjords, Iceland
According to Icelandic planning and construction laws, the municipalities' authority is limited to a line 115 m from the high water mark. Beyond this line, there is no spatial planning in place. With a variety of institutions and ministries in charge for management and decision making in this area, management is ineffective and overview insufficient. As the municipalities have very limited access to decision making in the area beyond 115 m offshore, it is very difficult for municipalities and coastal resource users to put in place a comprehensive future vision. Apart from being sponsored through Vaxtarsamning Vestfjarða (Westfjords' Growth Agreement) and Náttúruverndarsjóður Pálma Jónssonar (Nature conservation fund), the project is carried out with central government support.
The project's main goal is to come up with an integrated resource utilisation plan for Arnarfjörður and to harmonise both its management and resource use in co-operation with stakeholders. The pilot project aims at making increased resource use in Arnarfjörður possible while following sustainable principles to the benefit of coastal society, the economy and the environment. At the same time the project aims to develop innovative practices in nature and resource management for coastal areas, based on a methodology which integrates citizens and stakeholders.
Further information is available on the Association of Municipalities of the Westfjords' website (in Icelandic only).
Abby Sullivan's (Coastal and Marine Management student 2010) master's thesis is connected to this project, working title: Marine Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Iceland: A Pilot Study. Work in progress.