Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.

In this issue Issue No. 9, 2010-08-15

Volunteer health and emotional wellbeing in Marine Protected Areas
(Abstract...)

Human empowerment: Opportunities from ocean governance
(Abstract...)

Towards coastal risk management in France
(Abstract...)

Sea-level rise impact models and environmental conservation: A review of models and their applications
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Volunteer health and emotional wellbeing in Marine Protected Areas

Citizen science monitoring programs in the marine environment frequently focus on volunteer collected data precision for conservation and resource use of marine biota. Few studies have examined the social science aspects of volunteer engagement in marine monitoring programs in a quantifiable manner. This research focuses on emotional attitudes of Sea Search volunteers who monitor Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries in Victoria, Australia. Volunteers responded that their participation in Sea Search activities made them feel good emotionally and mentally, with active learning, such as remembering names of marine biota, stimulating brain activity and memory. Volunteer monitoring efforts generated personal satisfaction through their contributions, feelings of enjoyment, and socialising with others. Sea Search volunteers gain a sense of want to protect and conserve the marine environment through positive behaviour change. By understanding and having a sense of meaning towards the marine environment, the volunteers felt a sense of pride in themselves. The concepts of volunteer connection to the natural environment and positive mental and emotional health are important for any citizen science monitoring program and should be used in the program's aims and strategies as an effective means to attract volunteers. A functional framework which clearly communicates and assesses not only the scientific expectations from a citizen science program, but also the health and wellbeing connections to nature, need to be addressed in Government marine and coastal strategies.

Keywords: Marine Protected Areas; Volunteers; Wellbeing; Health; Citizen Science.

Source: Koss, R.S. and Kingsley, Y.J. (2010), “Volunteer health and emotional wellbeing in Marine Protected Areas“, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript; Received: 14 October 2009; Accepted: 14 June 2010; Available Online: 22 June 2010, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.06.002.

Contact: rkoss@deakin.edu.au

Link: ScienceDirect

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Human empowerment: Opportunities from ocean governance

Stimulus to reach the millennium goals of poverty abatement and empowerment, including education and employment, for the large part of the population in the coastal zone can be found in the resources and services of oceans and coasts; the required financial means, given political will and right priorities, can be provided through implementation of the related international conventions, in particular UNCLOS with the EEZ, the Common Heritage of Mankind and other provisions, Agenda 21 of UNCED and the WSSD 2002 Ocean Targets; the motivation is the necessity to address over-exploitation, depletion and destruction of resources, habitats and coastal ecosystem services, global changes, as well as economic transformations and social conditions of poverty, employment and un-equity. Achieving adequate management and protection of natural assets as ecosystems and their services, habitats, biodiversity requires that the socio-economic and human security needs of the coastal populations are met. One way to reach the goal is to enable them, representing about 50% of the global population and increasing, to fight poverty and cope with uncertainties and changing conditions of employment, environment and sustainability through proper governance of the coastal and ocean assets. This includes provision of education and knowledge as regards these assets and their proper uses. They include energy, water, food, transportation and trade, communication, coastal developments, tourism, recreation and ecosystem services, as well as the need to properly manage them. The present economic system cannot fully harmonize with the required governance, partly since the ecosystem resources and services are not internalised in the market-oriented system. This calls for a revised education and training system, more comprehensive than the present, taking into account the social, cultural and environmental requirements, and stressing the sustainable development paradigm. In order to achieve ocean governance and comprehensive human security an understanding of the system is needed. This is substantiated through the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development as well as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The aim here is to discuss some of the issues in context of implementation of related ocean conventions and commitments, which include achieving ocean governance, and to elucidate opportunities given by oceans and coasts, also in generating employment and providing for basic human needs.

Keywords: Poverty abatement and empowerment; Ocean governance; International conventions; Decade of Education for Sustainable Development; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; Human security; Employment.

Source: Kullenberg, G. (2010); “Human empowerment: Opportunities from ocean governance“, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript; Received: 15 April 2009;  Revised: 14 April 2010;  Accepted: 25 June 2010; Available Online: 5 July 2010, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.06.006.

Contact: gkullenberg@hotmail.com

Link: ScienceDirect

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Towards coastal risk management in France

The coastal territories of mainland France constitute a prime example of an at-risk territory, with their growing concentrations of people and economic activities located mostly on a coastal fringe that is subject to shoreline retreat and coastal flooding. The perspective of higher sea levels due to climate changes exacerbates the risk that these territories will be exposed to natural coastal hazards. Since the “invention” of the littoral zone in the mid 19th-century, the vulnerability of the economic stakes on this coastal fringe has been managed mainly by controlling the hazards; this control is coordinated by the national government, which initiated coastal defence practices. At the beginning of the 1980s, natural risk prevention policies favoured managing the consequences of natural disasters, with the creation of the CatNat insurance regime to indemnify natural disaster victims. By the middle of the 1990s, new natural risk management strategies had been invented to complete the control of natural hazards. As part of the emerging philosophy of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), the French government encouraged the development of natural risk prevention policies by establishing Natural Risk Prevention Plans (PPRn) in 1995. These PPRn were a new approach to shoreline management that favoured controlling development in coastal communities. As of 2008, PPRn had been approved in 270 coastal communities and required in 149. At the beginning of the 21st century, the French government set down the general orientations for managing natural coastal risks, but it was not the only stakeholder involved. Collective action emerged, bringing the national government, public institutions and the territorial and local authorities together to develop risk management policies. This collective action was facilitated by a form of decentralization of natural coastal risk management, involving regional or local implementation of the strategic orientations of shoreline management, respecting the general principles defined by the national government. These changes are part of the ICZM implementation process, which has been under way since 2005. The development of natural coastal risk prevention policies is reinforced by the soon-to-be-adopted bill concerning the Grenelle of the Environment. These policies are mainly financed by the Barnier Fund for major natural risk prevention, which is in turn funded by an obligatory contribution based on the CatNat insurance premiums. This type of financing raises the question of the relationship between risk prevention strategies and natural disaster management.

Keywords: Coastal territories of mainland France; Coastal defence practices; Natural risk prevention policies; CatNat insurance regime; ICZM; Natural Risk Prevention Plans; Decentralization; Soon-to-be-adopted bill; Grenelle of the Environment; Barnier Fund for major natural risk prevention.

Source: Deboudt, P. (2010), “Towards coastal risk management in France”, Ocean & Coastal Management; Article in Press, Corrected Proof; Available Online 27 April 2010, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.04.013.

Contact: phillipe.deboudt@univ-lille1.fr

Link: ScienceDirect

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Sea-level rise impact models and environmental conservation: A review of models and their applications

Conservation managers and policy makers need tools to identify coastal habitats and human communities that are vulnerable to sea-level rise. Coastal impact models can help determine the vulnerability of areas and populations to changes in sea level. Model outputs may be used to guide decisions about the location and design of future protected areas and development, and to prioritize adaptation of existing protected area investments. This paper reviews state-of-the-art coastal impact models that determine sea-level rise vulnerability and provide guidance to help managers and policy makers determine the appropriateness of various models at local, regional, and global scales. There are a variety of models, each with strengths and weaknesses suited for different management objectives, we find important trade-offs exist that are primarily related to the spatial scale that each operates, which may overstate impacts at one end and underestimate impacts at the other, as well as to the cost and capacity needed to run and interpret the models. Understanding these differences is critical for managers and policy makers to make informed decisions about which model to use and how to interpret and apply the results.

Keywords: Sea-level rise; Environmental conservation; Conservation managers; Policy makers; Coastal impact models.

Source: Mcleod, E., Poulter, B., Hinkel, J., Reyes, E. and Salm, R. (2010), “Sea-level rise impact models and environmental conservation: A review of models and their applications”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript; Received: 8 October 2009; Revised: 25 June 2010;  Accepted: 25 June 2010; Available Online: 5 July 2010, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.06.009.

Contact: emcleod@tnc.org

Link: ScienceDirect

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