Results and status, including trends (CI16)

Results and Status, including trends (brief)

Until now there has been no systematic monitoring in Mediterranean regarding the Length of coastline subject to physical disturbance. The only country that has implemented the monitoring of this indicator on a national level, at the moment, is Italy. There were also assessments on national level in France and Montenegro, but these assessments, although quite similar, do not fully resemble the implementation of the common indicator 16, since they pre-date it. However, they still provide a deep insight on the state of Montenegrin and French coastlines regarding length of artificialized coastline.

Italy, for now, is the only country to implement the monitoring of the EO8 common indicator 16 on a national level. Almost 16 % of the coastline was classified as built-up in 2006, with strong regional (sub-national) differences, for example between Continental Italy (20.5%) and Sardinia (4.5%). The share of built-up coastline slightly increased in 2012 in the whole country (+0.36%), again with higher increase in Continental Italy (+0.51%) than in Sardinia (0.06%).

In Montenegro, the assessment in 2013 showed around 32% of built-up coastline on national level with notable differences between coastal counties (e.g. 11.6% in Ulcinj County and 40.4% in Tivat County).

The rate of artificalization of the whole of the French Mediterranean coast is around 11 %, with differences apparent from region to region: from the 19.5% for the coast of Languedoc-Roussillon to around 2 % for the coast of Region of Corsica (MEDAM Project).


It is important to note that in Montenegro and France the inventories of length of built-up coastline took place before the implementation of national Integrated Monitoring Assessment Programmes. However, methodology for delineating built-up coastline is quite similar to IMAP’s monitoring guidelines.

Results and Status, including trends (extended)

The assessment results for Italy on the length of artificialized coastline are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1
Table 1. Length of built-up coastline in Italy in 2006 (provided by Project EcAp-ICZM Italian Ministry of Environment/ISPRA)

The total length in Table 1 is referred to a reference coastline for year 2006, and does not include islands except Sardinia and Sicily. Built-up coastline includes coastal defense structures, ports and marinas. The spatial extension of impervious surfaces on land side has not been considered in the calculation of the length of built-up coastline. The above results show that meaningful trends as for ex. 2012 over 2006 or 2018 over 2012, have to be calculated considering Sardinia and Sicily separated by the continental part of Italy as they both have share percentage completely different from each other and from the continental part. The high level of artificialisation in Sicily is mainly due to little ports and marinas for touristic and fishery activities that have been built or expanded in the last 30-20 years.

In Montenegro, the built-up assessment of coastal zone was carried out within the frame of Coastal Area Management Program (CAMP), which served as a basis for Spatial plan for six coastal counties and latter National strategy for integrated coastal zone management for Montenegro. The length of built-up coastline in Montenegro was assessed for each of the six coastal counties (Table 2). The indicator was calculated by overlapping the built-up areas with generalized coastline to get the share of the built-up coastline in the whole coastline. The coastline was generalized in order to avoid unrealistic length of anthropogenic coastline (e.g. to avoid undulations by marinas, ports, were groins, etc.). The built-up coastline is shown in Figure 3.

Table 2
Table 2. Length of built-up coastline in Montenegro (provided by G. Berlengi)
Figure 4
Figure 3. Map showing built-up coastline (in red) and natural coastline (in green) in Montenegro (provided by G. Berlengi)

In France, the MEDAM inventory (i.e. database) was established as a project that monitors the sources of artificial and development pressure on the French Mediterranean Coast, entailing features such as: the total length of coastline; coastline ‘artificialised’ by reclamation; rate of ‘artificialisation’ of coastline (linear), etc.

The rate of artificalisation of the whole of the French Mediterranean coast, according to MEDAM, is 11.1 %, with differences apparent from region to region: from the 19.5% for the coast of Languedoc-Roussillon to around 2 % for the coast of Region of Corsica (MEDAM Project).

In 1960-1985 period, the number of reclamations from the sea tripled along the French Mediterranean, followed by a distinct slow-down of these redevelopments between 1985 and 2010. The slowing down was to a large extent the result of enforcement of an Act (arrêté) that banned the destruction of marine phanerogams (Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa) (Arrêté of 19 July 1988).