Jose Rodriguez and Mark Turner
University of Canberra, Australia
This article examines the contemporary efforts to manage coastal resources through the integrated approach in one region of the Philippines, the Lingayen Gulf. The Gulf is one of the Philippines’ richest and most valuable marine resources but has been suffering stress for several decades. There have been several programs to reverse the decline. Some of these initiatives coincided with political decentralization whereby many coastal management functions were devolved to subnational governments. In recent years these programs has been organized on an integrative model. But has the necessary integration for effective coastal management occurred between the leading organizations and stakeholders? Has decentralization actually facilitated the process of ICM by bringing decision-making closer to the people and enabling managers to secure better coordination as predicted in decentralization theory? The research findings were that decentralization was not a panacea for coastal management and that subnational governments faced difficulties in performing their new roles. Although the necessary integration was not achieved, the groundwork for integrative approaches was undertaken
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