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Develop your own coastal adaptation strategy by learning key methodologies and techniques.

The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.


Download the final Belgian Coastal Adaptation Strategy here

VIDEO: Frank Maes, Caroline Lootens and Miguel Berteloot explain the benefits of working together and the particularities of the Belgian Coast

 "The level of detail on scientific evidence has to be in balance with the scale and scope of the project. Time should not be wasted on too detailed research.             Frank Maes
Our stakeholders had difficulties to think outside the box of the preferred future, sectoral approach and the exiting institutional framework.                             Marian Willekens

Access or download overviews, tools, techniques and examples of visualisation tools, educational tools, legal and policy tools, future scenario techniques, etc

Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

guidance4We didn't need to start from the beginning. Already from 2001 there was a close relationship between the two parties on basis in legal, ecological (marine biology) and technical (civil engineering) matters. The cooperation for the IMCORE-project was just a reestablishment of that relationship. The Terms of References was set up with a great distinction between the delivery of the scientific knowledge on environmental law by the Maritime Institute and the delivery of access to information which the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services could give.

Given the specific topics on which the two partners were working, there was no need for further formalising the Terms of reference between them.


IMCORE Process

As most of the IMCORE Expert Couplets we did not need to start from scratch. Already since 2001 a close relationship between the Maritime Institute (MI) and the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK) was put in place. Since this was mainly in the form of consultancy and legal support for policy initiatives such as the development of a new coastal defence decree, the establishment of a coastal adaptation strategy was a new and exciting challenge for the Belgian Expert Couplet . First we managed to bring together different coastal stakeholders to brainstorm on the issues of climate change at the coast and for each sector represented, following the issues guidelines document. This gave us a first idea on which issues the adaptation strategy should deal with. The second workshop was a whole other matter to tackle, namely developing possible scenarios on how the coastal future would look like from a social, economic and political perspective taking into account the results of the issues workshop. But since our motto is "together we know more and can achieve more than alone" we managed to identify the main drivers of climate change in cooperation with a group of coastal stakeholders, which we invited to join our workshops through announcements of the workshops in é-mails and é-magazines. The last step was the development of a coastal adaptation strategy. Since the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services is mainly responsible for coastal defence, this part of the strategy is much more developed than the actions set out for fisheries and coastal tourism. Furthermore, a draft Integrated Master plan for Coastal Safety was approved by the local communities.


Vision of the Couplet

The idea behind this Couplet is that "together we know more than alone". The Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services is a local authority with competences contributing to ICZM, such as coastal defence, basic infrastructure in marinas and hydrographical services. The Maritime Institute is the maritime research division of the department of Public International Law at Ghent University providing advice and conducting research on ICZM, Marine Spatial Planning, legal aspects of adaptation strategies for coastal zones, coastal zone legislation, International and European Environmental and Biodiversity Law and etc. A good collaboration between the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services and Maritime Institute means that theory and practice can be linked, leading to mutual support around some dedicated topics (mainly law and policy issues).


• To build scientific and legal knowledge on adaptation to climate change of coastal areas, in particular coastal defence in order to establish a coastal adaptation strategy.

• To provide public, free and quick access to coastal legislation for governmental administrations and the public at large.


Establish a close interaction between policy development and scientific and legal knowledge. The Maritime Institute delivers scientific knowledge on environmental law related to climate change, coastal areas and especially coastal defence in which the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services has not the quality of expertise. On the other hand, the Agency delivers access to information and future policy thinking.

Click here to download the Terms of Reference

Click here to download the ECN presentation given in Ghent

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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