Publicado por: pongpesca | 2010/02/24

Science for Environment Policy: Coastal Management

Editorial: Participation and integration are key to coastal management

The increasing man-made impacts and effects of climate change are making our coastlines more vulnerable to coastal risks including erosion and flooding. These impacts are far-reaching and are already changing the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities. In addition, they could further threaten valuable ecosystems and damage industries, such as fishing, tourism and shipping.

We need to better understand the ongoing processes in this complex and sensitive system of nature-human interactions and to reduce the negative impacts of coastal change. To achieve this we must draw on research expertise, not only from natural sciences and engineering, but also increasingly and pressingly from social sciences and economics, with clear and effective stakeholder engagement to develop participatory and integrated policies. This thematic issue reports on recent research from across all these fields to help guide successful coastal management.

Effective participation of all stakeholders is needed to create fair decision-making processes in integrated coastal flood risk management. This issue is explored in ‘Participatory approach needed to tackle coastal flooding’, a case-study from the Thames Estuary in the UK. The study calls for cross-sectoral approaches to coastal development and to consider all public and stakeholder views, at local, regional and national scales. The article ‘Practical applications of resilience principles for coastal communities’ provides advice on building resilience into management strategies to help our coasts cope under climate change.

Besides housing a number of important industries, our coastal areas provide a number of ecosystem services and resources, which also provide powerful economic arguments for the protection of our coasts. The growing understanding of the economic contribution of the coast is considered in ‘Putting a price on the Catalan coastal ecosystems’ and ‘Time to take stock of marine and coastal assets’.

The future for our coasts is complex, climate change dependent and holds many uncertainties. Long-term, strategic approaches are therefore needed in coastal governance. The article ‘Large-scale coastal management more sustainable in the long-term’ draws lessons from the Netherlands’ experience of coastal defence. It suggests new management strategies as small-scale management does not produce the best results in the long-term.
Modern technologies increasingly ease the task of integrating all the complex elements of our coastlines for better decision making. The article ‘Geographic Information Systems help manage coastal areas’ describes how GIS is supporting Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Spain.

Participatory and integrated coastal governance is multi-scalar and works across boundaries (research, professional, sectoral and administrative boundaries). It is key to coastal management, whether dealing with sustainable use of resources and specific types of coastal zones, or adapting to risks and climate change. Further research and development of governance activities are needed around issues such as institutions, coordination mechanisms and management regimes for ICZM, and, particularly, communication activities. Coastal information, education/training, participation, public and stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes and management leads to behavioural change in all coastal stakeholders.

Prof. Raimonds Ernsteins
University of Latvia, Riga


– Integrated approach needed to tackle coastal flooding

A new study outlines the challenges faced in securing Europe’s coastlines against flood damage. The study highlights the importance of taking an integrated approach to coastal management which accounts for scientific, socio-economic and political factors, and considers the problem at local, regional and national levels, from the perspectives of all stakeholders.

– Practical applications of resilience principles for coastal communities

Adapting to climate change in coastal cities needs further development of the resilience approach as well as identifying how it can be practically used in local actions, according to a new study. The researchers present resilience as a flexible, practical way of dealing with climate change’s impacts, such as coastal flooding, which can be easily built into adaptation measures.

  • Source: Wardekker, J.A. de Jong, A., Knoop, J.M. and van der Sluijs, J.P. (2010). Operationalising a resilience approach to adapting an urban delta to uncertain climate changes. Technological Forecasting & Social Change. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2009.11.005.
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– Putting a price on the Catalan coastal ecosystems

Ecosystems in the Catalan coastal system in Spain are worth €2,573 million per year to local citizens, according to new research. By placing a value on ecosystems the research has provided insight into integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in the area.

– Time to take stock of marine and coastal assets

A new study highlights the economic importance of coastal and marine areas and the urgent need to develop concrete methods for assessing their value. Researchers say the need is especially strong now as climate change’s impacts could reduce the economic value of coastal and marine environments.

  • Source: Kildow, J.T. and McIlgorm, A. (2010). The importance of estimating the contribution of the oceans to national economies. Marine Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2009.08.006.
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– Large-scale coastal management more sustainable in the long-term

It is possible to design long-term coastal defence strategies that can be adapted to a range of potential climate change impacts, if prevention measures are considered over larger rather than smaller coastal scales, according to recent research.

  • Source: Horstman, E.M., Wijnberg, K.M., Smale, A.J., Hulscher, S.J.M.H. et al. (2009). On the consequences of a long-term perspective for coastal management. Ocean & Coastal Management. 52(12): 593-611.
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– Geographic Information Systems help manage coastal areas

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capture and analyse geographic data obtained by methods, such as land surveying, aerial photography and mapping software. A recent study demonstrates the importance and the value of GIS in managing vulnerable coastline.

– News from LIFE: Listening to stakeholders crucial to successful ICZM implementation

The ‘ICZM in Woodlands’ project, co-funded by the EU through the LIFE programme, has developed comprehensive recommendations for an ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) strategy that connects forestry and nature protection issues by the Baltic Sea and has established an Expert Advisory Group for the Baltic Sea Coastal Woodlands which reflects the need for cross-border co-operation on this issue.”

Fonte: Science for Environment Policy: Coastal Management – 23 de Fevereiro de 2010


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