Monday Feb 19, 2018

Study, Definition and Determination of Coastal Zones in Iran

"Shoreline" according to Karsten Mangor: Approximate boundaries of shorelines are limited by natural features like dunes and rocks in land and by littoral drifts in sea. Therefore this zone is regarded as the most affected zones by marine phenomena and the parallel or perpendicular transfer of sediments on shore and also their signs, which are manifested as coastal erosion and sedimentation, are most obvious in this area. It should be noted that many marine ecosystems like wetlands, which have a vital role in food supply, elimination of destructive marine phenomena etc, are situated in this zone. Much sea related economical activities like port operations are performed in this zone too. According to this theory, coastal zone can be divided into three areas of coast, shore and Shore face. The definitions for each of these main zones and their sub-divisions are provided below:
A) Coast - B) Shore (beach) - C) Shore face -  D) Breaker Zone (Surf Zone) - E) Near shore Zone - F) Offshore

The delineation proposed by Cicin-Sain is a quality division whose extension can be defined by considering the available facilities, the power of the relevant organization and other environmental parameters. The boundaries provided in marine divisions have only considered the political issues. 
Meanwhile the only reliable definition is the one provided by DHI which offers a suitable pattern. This definition is preferred over other definitions because of its transparent concepts and definitions which are based on scientific achievements and the incorporation of all coast-related issues. Therefore, by considering the provided definitions and different points of views and the use of global experiences in the delineation of ICZM boundaries and also making use of criteria compatible with Iran's conditions, the boundaries of coastal zones within different management levels can be prepared.

Based on the above observations, there is no specific and standardized criterion for the definition and division of coastal areas which is acceptable by all. One of the main reasons for this failure lies in the difference of coastal features and different uses various countries make of them. Meanwhile, some common features are found in the way different countries have dealt with coastal zoning some of which are the use of organizational or administrative boundaries for the implementation of coastal management, or the use of ecological or in some cases political, security features of coasts for the delineation of coastal management zones. It seems that different countries have based the coastal delineations on the problems and issues they are facing and it appears that pragmatic concerns have taken precedence over scientific and technical approaches in this regard.
It seems that the proposed delineations or divisions some of which have been transformed into relevant laws and regulations have failed to protect coastal zones and prevent their violation. The codification of laws without considering the hydro-dynamic and climatic conditions of the coasts is a major drawback of these laws and regulations. As an example, while the laws consider the last sea water progression of 1964 as the base for the delineation of coastal areas in the north of Iran, nowadays this point is completely submerged in water. Therefore, a revision in the methods and criteria used for coastal zoning is one of the first steps which should be taken for the improvement of coastal management in Iran. It seems that the new approach should consider both scientific/technical issues along with administrative and ecological concerns in the delineation of coastal zones. Therefore, this method should be integrative in nature and make use of various indexes in this field.