The French authorities proposed to the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) to implement the CAMP project in the coastal area of the Var department, which launched an active integrated coastal management policy in 2008. This proposal was a part of the Working Framework Programme presented at the Sixteenth Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in Marrakech, in 2009. The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and the French authorities have agreed to conduct a feasibility study for the CAMP project to include the Var department coastal area. The French Ministry in charge of the Environment (Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy), the General Council of the Var and PAP/RAC launched the feasibility study at a meeting held in Toulon, in 2011. The Agreement between the Government of the French Republic and UNEP/MAP concerning the CAMP Var (France) was signed in September 2014.
The Action plan for the implementation of the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean (2012‐2019) was adopted at the Seventeenth Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention held in Paris, in February 2012. The purpose of the Action Plan was primarily to support the Parties in their ratification process of the ICZM Protocol what has led to the entry into force of the Protocol in March 2011. The goal of supporting all the Parties in their transposition and implementation of the Protocol was also set. CAMP Var, its results and lessons learned will therefore serve as an example of practical implementation of the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean.
The Var department covers an area of 5,973 km2 and has 432 km of the coastline of which 80 km account for ten islands and islets. 70 km are occupied by military establishments, 40 km are urban areas and ports, while 92 km beaches and 230 km are rocky shores. Its population is 967,000 inhabitants of which 554,197 living in the 27 coastal municipalities (between Saint Cyr les Lecques and St. Raphael). This population has a strong summer variation since the Var department is the first French tourist department outside the Paris area and the marine area is subject of intense maritime activity.
On its coastal territory, the Var department includes a number of coastal and maritime planning structures and strategies, new or old, such as the National Park of Port‐Cros created in 1963, marine parts of three Territorial Coherence schemes (ScoTs) ‐ Provence Méditerranée Grimaud / Saint‐Tropez and Var East, as well as the Bay contract of the harbour of Toulon 2013‐2018.
The CAMP Var will focus on the establishment of a consultative body, being a place of mediation and governance at the local scale of the County, complementary to the Maritime Shoreline Council. This structure was conceived as a laboratory to stimulate a dynamic dialogue, the development of a governance mechanism and to highlight the successes and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the ICZM policies. The distribution of powers between the state and its decentralised services, public institutions, local authorities and the combination between international conventions, European standards, national laws and local planning schemes can be complex. Coastal management is sometimes seen as a "legal and administrative mix" synonymous with difficult understanding of "who does what" or "who should do what". This echoes to the lag between an administrated and a lived territory.
In accordance with the agreement signed between France and UNEP/MAP, the Steering Committee (CoPil) of the project endorsed an Action Plan that can be scalable. The main actions are: an institutional diagnostic study on ICZM planning and the reflection on a methodology for ICZM policy evaluation and monitoring; a reflection on subjective mapping to represent the territory as it is lived; "Archipelago of excellence and pilot islands " - to build operational pilot actions on the Var islands; adaptation to climate change and flooding risks in coastal areas; an overview synthesis on the harbours and navigation basins, to enhance realised or ongoing activities by different actors in the Var; brainstorming and capitalisation on maritime spatial planning; a Land-Sea Forum to foster the emergence of a common destiny; the contribution and promotion of a network of ICZM actors in the Mediterranean.
"GREEN" project management
CAMP Var actors committed to "think green" throughout the project activities and will seek to make decisions taking into account their environmental impacts. The aim is to include "green thinking" in the management process of each project activity through the development of techniques and promotion of ecological systems, e.g. addressing the issue of rising transport emissions and excessive consumption of paper (paperless system to apply to communication, meetings and alike).