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. 51, 2013-01-02

Sea-Level Trend Analysis for Coastal Management
(Abstract...)

Towards A New Paradigm for Transboundary Water Governance: Implementing Regional Frameworks through Local Actions
(Abstract...)

Spanning the Boundary between Climate Science and Coastal Communities: Opportunities and Challenges
(Abstract...)

Developing a Road Map for Climate Change Adaptation: The experience of Surf Life Saving Australia
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Sea-Level Trend Analysis for Coastal Management

A proper coastal management requires an accurate estimation of sea level trends locally and globally. It is claimed that the sea levels are rising following an exponential growth since the 1990s, and because of that coastal communities are facing huge challenges. Many local governments throughout Australia, including those on the coast, have responded to the various warnings about changes in climate and increases in sea levels by undertaking detailed climate change risk management exercises. These exercises, which use projections passed on by the relevant state bodies, are expensive, but still a fraction of the cost of the capital works that they recommend. Several councils have complained to an Australian Productivity Commission report on climate change adaptation they do not have the money for the capital works required. It is shown here that the exponential growth claim is not supported by any measurement of enough length and quality when properly analysed. The tide gauge results do not support the exponential growth theory. The projections by the relevant state bodies should therefore be revised by considering the measurements and not the models to compute the future sea level rises for the next 30 years following the same trend experienced over the last 30 years.

Keywords: Sea levels; Policy making; Coastal management.

Source: A. Parker, M. Saad Saleem and M. Lawson (2012), “Sea-Level Trend Analysis for Coastal Management”, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, to appear in Ocean and Coastal Management; Available Online: 16 December 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.12.005.

Contact: albertparker@y7mail.com

Link: ScienceDirect

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Towards A New Paradigm for Transboundary Water Governance: Implementing Regional Frameworks through Local Actions

Large-scale international waters management projects usually focus on fostering formal inter-governmental co-operation processes, which often lead to limited on-the-ground impact. In contrast, community-based international waters projects are often local, individualistic and stand-alone projects, lacking regional linkages and perspectives. Consequently, a gap exists between regional and local processes and their outcomes. Linking regional processes with local actions not only enhances the effectiveness of local actions in addressing international waters issues but also strengthens regional frameworks. The paper calls for adopting an integrated management approach to international waters management by incorporating local actions into regional international waters management frameworks. This article draws experiences and lessons learnt from the partnership between the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) and the SCS project in the integration of regional and local actions. In particular, it evaluates the experiences derived from thirty one small grant projects at the community level that were specifically designed to address priority issues identified in the regional SCS/SAP and outlines the process used for their identification and selection. The paper highlights the critical importance of engaging local communities in regional environmental governance and presents the outcomes in terms of the extent to which these small local actions have contributed towards regionally-defined goals and targets. The paper advocates a paradigm shift on the part of international donors such as the GEF from focusing either on regional intergovernmental co-operation or on community actions at the local level to an approach that fosters the development of regional frameworks of action within which local actions can be identified and supported. The positive experiences of the SCS and SGP partnership suggest that this is a suitable model for replication in other shared water bodies.

Keywords: Transboundary water governance; Management dilemma; Implementation gap; Integrated management; Local implementation; Community-based management; South China Sea.

Source: . Chen, J. C. Pernetta and A. M. Duda (2012); “Towards A New Paradigm for Transboundary Water Governance: Implementing Regional Frameworks through Local Actions”, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, to appear in Ocean and Coastal Management; Available Online: 13 November 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.10.019.

Contact: sulan.chen@undp.org

Link: ScienceDirect

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Spanning the Boundary between Climate Science and Coastal Communities: Opportunities and Challenges

Climate science is complex and sometimes controversial. One of the challenges for coastal adaptation is spanning the boundary between the technical scientists and other stakeholders including local communities and decision-makers. The technical science is very much the domain of professional climatologists, meteorologists, modellers, oceanographers, biologists and geomorphologists. However, the application of this science to the strategic and tactical management of a local coast and ocean requires applied knowledge about the particular coast and the marine environment, including its vulnerability, community values, local politics and relationships, and formal and informal decision-making pathways. We suggest here that there are many organisations and individuals who play important roles in spanning these boundaries. Their roles include some or all of the following: bringing stakeholders together to negotiate pathways forward; translating the complex technical science into terms useful for management and conveying the needs of management or community to scientists; facilitating new applied knowledge and awareness through deliberations; and mediating conflict resulting from different priorities among the stakeholders. In this paper we focus on organisations and agents who are endeavouring to cross these long-standing boundaries and successfully move climate science information between the knowledge-makers and decision-makers in Australian coastal communities. We use two case studies to examine the opportunities and challenges for the uptake of climate science in these communities. The first case study (OceanWatch: a potential boundary organisation for enabling climate science uptake in the commercial fishing industry) is on enabling climate science uptake in the fishing industry through the potential role of a not-for-profit organisation. The second (Northern Agricultural Catchments Council: managing boundaries for coastal adaptation in the City of Geraldton and its region) explores planning for the coastal town of Geraldton, Western Australia and its surrounding region. For each case study we analyse the functions of convening, collaborating, translating and mediating played by boundary organisations and boundary spanners. We then assess their capacity to enhance the salience, credibility and legitimacy of the process. Research aim: We aim to show how intermediary organisations and individuals can help span boundaries between technical climate science and local coastal communities, and to highlight the challenges they face in this process.

Keywords: Boundary organisations; Boundary spanning; Climate science; Coastal communities.

Source: J. Shaw, L. Stocker and C.D. Galano (2012), “Spanning the Boundary between Climate Science and Coastal Communities: Opportunities and Challenges”, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, to appear in Ocean and Coastal Management: Received: 6 April 2012; Revised: 16 October 2012; Accepted: 27 November 2012; Available Online: 14 December 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.11.008.

Contact: jenny.shaw@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Link: ScienceDirect

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Developing a Road Map for Climate Change Adaptation: The experience of Surf Life Saving Australia

The coastal zone of Australia is likely to experience significant impacts as a result of climate change in the course of this century, even if the efforts expected from the international community to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations eventuate. Importantly, without future reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases, impacts will increase. The impacts of climate change may include a heightening of weather event intensity and sea level rise, which in combination could have far reaching effects for coastal recreation, beach safety service provision and surf lifesaving facilities and services. In this respect, the potential impacts of climate change represent a significant challenge for Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA). Recognising the importance of this issue, SLSA undertook to develop a plan for adaptive action. This paper presents the outcomes of the resultant Climate Change Adaptation Road Map for SLSA. The Road Map represents an important for step for SLSA in their adaptive journey.

Keywords: Coastal; Surf; Life Saving; Road Map; Adaptation; Climate Change.

Source: C. Elrick-Barr, R. Kay and N. Farmer (2012), “Developing a Road Map for Climate Change Adaptation: The experience of Surf Life Saving Australia”, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, to appear in Ocean and Coastal Management; Available Online: 12 November 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.10.015.

Contact: carmen.elrick@coastalmanagement.com

Link: ScienceDirect

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