Based on a pluridisciplinary research programme on New Caledonia’s lagoon (2004–2008), this paper addresses economic, ecological and political issues in order to implement integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in this French Pacific territory. The nickel mining industry constitutes the core of the re-balancing economic and social strategy between the Northern and Southern provinces. But major impacts on the coastal environment of metal-processing plants, harbours, and decades of mine exploitation have released a controversy. A short diachronic analysis suggests that such environmental concerns prompted the emergence of collective actions to among civil society, customary and institutional stakeholders. The inscription of New Caledonia lagoon and reef areas in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008 would be both an outcome and a catalyst of this on-going process. Looking beyond the reefs towards the mainland and watersheds for the construction of local socio-ecological systems, we assume that the current stakes could result in the initiation of ICZM in New Caledonia.
2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
New Caledonia, Island economy, Mine, Governance, Lagoon, World heritage, Integrated coastal zone management, Coral reefs, Marine reserve
Axe de recherche : Dynamiques, gouvernance et durabilité des territoires insulaires