ICAN is a project of UNESCO IOC´s IODE Programme, and ICAN members seek to play a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations, thereby optimizing regional governance in coastal zone management and marine spatial planning.


We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Some 37 per cent of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast. (UNEP)


CWAs are "...collections of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, & information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic & decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet."  O'Dea et al., 2007


Membership in ICAN is open to all interested parties who agree to the mission & objectives of ICAN, including those with an operational coastal web atlas, as well as those hoping to design and build a coastal web atlas in the future.
Join us!

¡Únete a nosotros!

Andy Sherin
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Several on-line atlases have been developed that are relevant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Three are highlighted here. Please send examples of other SDG relevant atlases to Andy at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. for future articles.

Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries' Commitment

SDG Goal 14b

SDG Goal 14 iconSDG Goal 14b states “Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets”.

Learn more about SDG 14 here

Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) has been promoting the notion of ‘Blue Justice’ through various platforms. One of our most prominent efforts was the registration of Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries as a voluntary commitment to the Ocean Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14). Our pledge joins more than 1,400 other voluntary commitments to save our oceans, all registered on a UN platform. See TBTI Blue Justice full commitments at

Figure 1: The Information System for Small Scale Fisheries (ISSF) is a global collaborative online database providing information on small-scale fisheries (SSF) to help enhance knowledge about this sector and their overall contributions. ISSF is available at

The commitment, which is part of our ongoing 'Blue Justice' campaign, calls attention to the current discourse about Blue Growth/Blue Economy, which poses potential risks to the rights of small-scale fisheries to the fishing livelihoods, which include access to fisheries resources, to coastal and ocean space, and to local, national and international markets. The campaign is urging for the social justice of small-scale fisheries be recognized not only as a basic right, but also an important condition for the realization of the UN Sustainable Goals and implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

 [Editor’s Note: TBTI  last appeared in the ICAN Newsletter in the September 2014 issue.]

Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins

SDG Goal 6

SDG Goal 6: states “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Learn more about SDG 6 here

The Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins is one of the tools referenced by Inventory of Business Tools . This inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins database provides a compilation of the world’s river basins developed specifically for corporate disclosure. It features a comprehensive list of river basins worldwide, including their names, boundaries, and other helpful information.

Figure 3: Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins

SDG Goal 14

SDG Goal 14 iconSDG Goal 14: states “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

Learn more about SDG 14 here

Many companies provide location-specific information in their water reporting. However, they often don’t have a common reference point for the places they talk about. Because of this, they often refer to the same place by different names, or to different places using the same name. This database solves that problem by allowing you to Find Basins by Latitude / Longitude Points and Find Basins by Country.

Figure 4: River Basins from Western Europe mapped in the Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins.


Allan Coral Atlas

SDG Goal 14.2

SDG Goal 14 iconSDG Goal 14.2 states: “By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.”

Learn more about SDG 14 here

Arizona State University’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, the National Geographic Society, Planet, the University of Queensland, and Vulcan Inc. are working to expand the Allen Coral Atlas. With the Atlas, coral conservationists, reef managers and scientists have access to high quality information that has never before been available at this global scale.

The Allen Coral Atlas is built by a dedicated team of scientists, technologists, and conservationists, using one-of-a-kind methodologies, led and funded by Vulcan Inc.

It all starts with 3.7m satellite imagery. With this data in hand, distorting “noise” in the imagery is taken out. Algorithms then correct for the effects of the atmosphere and sun glint on the surface of the water, and then depth is calculated. Next, field data is used to calibrate rule sets before generating a habitat map with machine learning. The resulting map is then displayed on the Allen Coral Atlas website, and the Atlas Engagement team works with scientists, academics, policymakers, and protected area managers to facilitate use.


Para nuestras Costas

Vol, 8, Nr 2 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 9th year publishing the ICAN newsletter. Many thanks to our Editor Andy Sherin!

Please consider preparing an article for the next newsletter that will likely be published in the spring of this year.

Happy New Year!

Photos from CoastGIS 2018

Our friends from CoastGIS 2018 have posted a wonderful gallery of photos, including the recent ICAN mini-workshop:

See how many ICAN members you can spot!