Chile covers approx. 4,500 km from the North to the South but only 80 – 400 km from the West to the East. In the West, it is limited by the Pacific, in the East, by the Andes Mountains which reach up to 6,900 m. Chile is one of the most urban regions of the globe. Only 13 out of 100 inhabitants live in rural settlements, almost 40 % of the population live in the capital Santiago. After a very dynamic period from 1990 –1997, economic growth has slowed down (2002: 2.1% GNP). Chile is integrated in the global economy as few countries are: Foreign trade amounts to approx. 54 % of the GNP. With copper, timber products, fish, wine, fruit and vegetables, Chile has a wide export portfolio. Notwithstanding the success of the national economy over the last 15 years we have to note that the economic boom is neither ecologically sustainable nor socially agreeable. Many export businesses are based on the success of raw materials, which are not renewable and are produced at high ecological and social costs.

The coast of Chile
The densely populated urban regions and industrial areas of Chile are situated directly along the coast, or very close to the coast. Fishing has always played a great role. Most important economic activities are fishing, processing of fish, ports, and tourism. The industrial salmon farming in the south of the country is becoming a major economic factor, but creates environmental burdens that cannot yet be esteemed.

Size: 1.285.260 km2
Length of coast: 3.080 km
Inhabitants: 27 millions
Average age: 23,5 years
Growth of population: 1.6%
Peru consists of three different geographic zones. Costa is a narrow plane along the pacific coast. Sierra consists of the Andes Cordillera with the Andes Highland, and Selva is a virtually unpopulated lowland in the Amazon basin.

Since 1998, the economic recession and the difficult economic world climate with low commodity prices opposed the recovery of the Peruvian economy. Since early 2002, an economic upswing can be noticed. The Gross National Product (GNP) grew by 5.2% in 2002. The most important business segment is the service provider business, followed by industry, agriculture and mining. Half of the population are poor; approx. two thirds of the population live in ecologically sensitive areas.

The coast of Peru
The coastal zone of Peru has 53 rivers and valleys with farming – mainly for the domestic market. The farms are small, with old-fashioned equipment, and don’t have the capital for necessary modernization.

The most important big cities and industrial towns (steel, chemical and petrochemical products, vehicles etc.) are located along the coast. Fishing is also a major economic factor and contributes 5% to the GNP, and it is particularly important for exports. The cold seas close to the coast are rich in Plankton, the basis for the large number of Anchoveta, which account for roughly 80 % of all catches, most of which are processed to fishmeal.


Size: 1.14 millions km2
Length of coast: Caribbean: 1.760 km, Pacific: 1.448 km
Inhabitants: 42 millions
Average age: 25.6 years
Growth of population: 1.6%
Colombia is the fourth greater country of South America with an area of 2’032.828 Km2, of that 1’140.309 km2 corresponds to continental territory and 892,519 km2 to marine territory, identify five natural regions: Caribbean, Andean, Pacific, Orinoquía and Amazonía.

Colombia is considered like one of the mega-diverse countries of the planet, since it contains between 10% and 15% of global diversity with just 0.77% of world continental surface. Its hydrics yield average calculates in 60 l/s/km2, being this one six times greater than the yield world continental average and three times the yield average of South America.

Population surpasses the 42 million inhabitants, is concentrated in the urban zones reaching a 69.3% and esteem that to 2050 year, this proportion arrives at 84.5% with an urban and rural population from 70 million inhabitants.

The data available on the PIB reveal that the structure of Colombian economy has not changed substantially during last years (1994-2000 period). The commerce and services sectors, jointly, are those that contribute more, with approximately 59% of real PIB. They follow farming and mining activities, with near 19% and the manufacturing industry with near 15% of participation in the PIB. The prognoses indicate that for the future years (2002-2004) the national PIB will oscillate between 2.2 and 2.5 %.

The Coastal Zone of Columbia
Throughout its 3,882 km of coast in both the oceans and their insulars systems that a set of islands and keys in the Caribbean Sea (Archipelago of San Andrés, Old Providence and Santa Catalina, as well as its keys, small barren islands and low adjacents) and in the Pacific Ocean (Islands of Malpelo and Gorgona), presents all the rich, diverse and productive types of ecosystems marine-coastal of the tropic; with a diverse culturally population, and an increasing development of economic activities.

Unlike most of the coastal countries of the world, the number of inhabitants on the coastal strip is inferior to a quarter of the total of the population (12.5% the Caribbean and 2.0% Pacific). The Continental Caribbean region includes the departments of the Guajira, Magdalena, Atlantico, Bolivar, Cordova, Sucre, Antioquia and Choco, lodging within the area between the coastline and the level of 60 meters of height, 26,898 km2 and the territory of 82 municipalities; is one of the regions of the country that more quickly has increased its population.
The cultural heterogeneity of the Continental Caribbean is related to different modalities and construction of the territory; at the moment of Conquest in this region were five linguistics families that they are the Arawak, Macrochibcha, First Caribbean Sector and Zenú Sector.


Size: 248.000 de km2
Length of coast: 2.250 km aprox.
Inhabitants: 12,15 millones
Average age: 22,5 años
Growth of population: 2,1%

The land got its name because of its geographic location at the equator, and consists of the Amazon lowland, the Andes highland, and the coastal regions. The territory of Ecuador also includes the Galapagos-Islands, which lie approx. 1,000 km offshore.

Between 1998 and 2000 the country has suffered its hardest crisis of economy and finances since 70 years. It slowly recovers. The growth of the Gross National Product over the last three years was between 2 and 3.5 %. The economy mainly depends on the export of agricultural products (bananas, cocoa, coffee, tropical fruit, and flowers), fish and shrimps as well as natural oil from the Amazon lowland. It also depends on the transfer of money from Ecuadorians who work the USA or in Europe and send back part of their wages.

The coast of Ecuador
The coastal region covers roughly one quarter of the country. In wide parts, it consists of fruitful humid swamps and is interspersed with low hills. The biggest coastal city is Guayaquil, an industrial city with 2.1 million inhabitants. While the delta areas are mostly covered with mangrove woods, the outer coasts have long beaches – ideal for tourism. The phenomenon El Niño, a strong warm tidal stream along the Pacific coasts is the biggest risk to the coastal area. His extreme climatic effects cause serious economic damages: El Niño 97 – 98 caused damages of approx. 2.6 billion US$.

The use of the coast by industry, agriculture, fishing, shrimp farming, tourism and growth of the cities is a great burden on the environment. The region has applied IKZM as a control instrument over the last 18 years with the intention of buffering the environmental damages, coordinating the use of resources, protecting the environment, and increasing the standard of life at the coast.


Size: 200.000 km2 aprox.
Length of coast: 17.460 km aprox.
Inhabitants: 82 millones aprox.
Average age: 21,8 años
Growth of population: 2,6%
Mexico has a territory of approx. 3,400 km from the Northwest to the Southeast. Geographically, Mexico is part for Northern America. Culturally, it is part of South America. It is a country full of opposites; there is a small rich upper class, a growing, poor urban working class, and a generally poor urban population.

After the economic breakdown in 1995 the Mexican national economy in 1996 resumes its growth course and continued this trend through 1997 – 2000. After a slope in growth in 2001, the following year brought a small growth of 0.9 %. The environmental situation in the country is critical. The environmental damages are esteemed at already 12.5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) per year. The development of urban industrial centers was frequently not accompanied by any parallel development of infrastructure. Waste, sewage and emissions are frequently discharged into the nature without prior treatment. In the underdeveloped rural regions, poverty leads to destruction of the natural resources of life. The awareness for the environment is not yet developed. For great parts of the population, the fight for survival has priority. The society is also politically and ethnically shattered.

The coast of Mexico
The coast covers a length of 9.330 km, of which approx. 2/3 along the Pacific and 1/3 Gulf of Mexico – Caribbean. The peninsula Yucatán is a unique geological formation: there are no rivers. Subterranean, porous stone sediments drain the whole peninsula of Yucatán. Drinking water is also gathered from subterranean streams. Discharges of sewage deteriorate the quality of drinking water.

Tourism is an important and still growing economic segment. Holiday regions such as Baja California, Acapulco and Cancún are famous all over the world. In Yucatán, tourism mostly expands in very fragile ecological systems.

The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Instituto de Ecologia A. C. (INECOL) (CONACyT), Mexico established the terms of reference for defining and implementing the Program ICZM-Gulf/Caribbean. The fundamentals are:

  • the scientific, economic, social, and geopolitical importance of the region;
  • the agreements of Mexico in its national and international agenda;
  • scientific knowledge on coastal vulnerability, ecological integrity and coastal risks, and uncertainty for sustainable development;
  • the linkage between the academia, social, economic, and legal sectors among the Mexican States in the coastal zone of the region.

Towards formulation, formalization, implementation, evaluation, and defining priorities of the Program ICZM-Gulf/Caribbean, SEMARNAT and INECOL created the "Panel" instrument as a regional initiative, which has the "Integration" as the key word throughout six basic levels of integration:

  • between sectors (coast/land and coast/sea activities);
  • between the land and aquatic components of the coastal zone;
  • among the three levels of Governance
  • between States and Municipalities;
  • among social, economic, political, legal scientific and technological disciplines
  • between the agendas of Mexico and USA
  • (Source: