Goble, B.J.; Hill, T.R., and Phillips, M.R., 2020. Building institutional knowledge for effective Integrated Coastal Management decision making: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 808-813. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Coastal zones are highly utilised making the management thereof complex. To support this many coastal nations have developed coast specific legislation; South Africa being no exception. However, implementation remains the biggest hurdle; some of the best environmental legislation is offered but the skills, capacity and financial resources to achieve this are lacking. National governments have made efforts to ensure knowledge transfer and capacity building for ICM, but is this enough? Is there is a real improvement in the capacity of managers and decision makers and are we seeing resultant effective ICM? This paper considers the success of traditional training for knowledge transfer and capacity building within KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) (South Africa). It further reviews a KZN specific information support tool to aid in on-going knowledge building and storing of institutional information and evaluates if this is complementary to traditional approaches. While participants of traditional training sessions gain value from these, the link to implementation is largely lacking. This coupled with high staff turnover rates creates a barrier to objectives of the ICM Act. In comparison the use of an information support tool potentially adds value by storing information and data in a readily available format and serves as an ‘institutional information bank’, contributing to improved, informed coastal decision making.