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. 77, 2015-03-01

Accelerating Cultural Heritage Tourism in San Antonio: A Community­based Tourism Development Proposal for the Missions Historic District
(Abstract...)

Handling the “environmental knowledge paradox” in estuarine and coastal policy making
(Abstract...)

Implications of population and tourism development growth for Bulgarian coastal zone
(Abstract...)

The capacities of institutions for the integration of ecosystem services in coastal strategic planning: The case of Jiaozhou Bay
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Accelerating Cultural Heritage Tourism in San Antonio: A Community­based Tourism Development Proposal for the Missions Historic District

Cultural heritage tourism is a proven economic stimulus that creates jobs and direct economic benefits to locals. Heritage zones promote conservation of historic resources and can incubate small businesses, revitalize commercial districts, generate local jobs and foster positive change in a community. The social benefits are many, yet long­term retention of the benefits requires deliberate planning. The prosperity brought by the tourists tends to destroy the experiences they seek. Heritage tourists seek experiences of authentic cultural heritage. Yet, the economic prosperity of tourism can swiftly alter a region. Business and real estate development pressures increase as the tourist market expands, bringing changes that occlude and displace the local heritage. This paper posits that attention to cultural sustainability can mitigate negative impacts and correlate to a robust heritage tourism economy. Sustainable development practices can support cultural heritage tourism in a manner that sustains the local culture. The San Antonio Missions and potential development in South San Antonio are reviewed here as an economic development tool designed to attract visitors to an area based on the unique aspects of the locality’s history, landscape and culture. The heritage tourism market needs cultural heritage in order to grow and retain the economic prosperity over time. This research investigates and analyzes the potential of the San Antonio Missions Historic District toward community­based cultural heritage tourism. The connections of Missions to the river will feature historic and artistic interpretations of the story of the missions and highlight their social and cultural importance to the area. This will reinforce the importance of the river to the missions and encourage visitors to circulate between the Mission Reach and the river. Accelerating tourism in Missions Historic District will be a considerable economic and social benefit through the workforce, income and infrastructure developments. This research provides a legacy of positive development within the Missions Historic District, especially as San Antonio moves toward World Heritage designation. World Heritage designation brings international attention and increased tourism with both positive and negative impacts. Cultural heritage tourism can bring many benefits to a local economy but it can also disrupt the quality of life of the local inhabitants. This research also investigates how to prevent gentrification and the loss of authenticity while tourism in the district accelerates. This paper also promotes cultural and environmental sustainability at the local or neighborhood level, and highlights the potential benefits for small business owners to connect to the growing heritage tourism economy of the San Antonio Missions Historic District. Prosperity for residents of the district is a viable path to sustaining the community’s cultural heritage, identity and authenticity.

Keywords: Authenticity; Community­based design; Cultural heritage tourism; Management; Sustainability; World Heritage designation.

Source: S. Doganer and W. Dupont (2015); “Accelerating Cultural Heritage Tourism in San Antonio: A Community­based Tourism Development Proposal for the Missions Historic District”, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, Volume 10 (2015), Issue 1, Pages 18, Page Range : 1 – 19; DOI: 10.2495/SDP­V10­N1­1­19

Contact: witpress@witpress.com

Link: WITPress

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Handling the “environmental knowledge paradox” in estuarine and coastal policy making

Knowledge is a key feature in our attempts to achieve sustainable development during environmental decision­making. Particularly complex decision making processes, where integrated economic, social and ecological issues need to be handled, suffer from what could be called the “Environmental Knowledge Paradox” or EKP (having more and more detailed knowledge does not necessarily reduce uncertainty and settle competing truth­claims). We need to make significant changes in the decision­making process itself and the way we use scientific models to support these decisions. Starting from a simple linear decision­making model we explore potential improvements. Supported by recent progress in the environmental as well as the social sciences, we suggest four main procedural and technical adjustments. (1) To reduce the uncertainty in exploratory studies the ‘contra expertise’ approach should be explicitly applied. (2) The ‘uncertainty’ in impact assessments needs to be reduced by combining completely different approaches and model techniques. (3) The discussions during the decision- making process should be led by an independent not discipline­related professional facilitator. (4) Formal and informal actors need to be able to play an explicit and significant role during the decision­making process options and solutions.

Keywords: Sustainable development; Knowledge utilization; Ecosystem based management; Bridging sciences & management; Public participation; Pluralistic approach; Divergence; Convergence.

Source: C. N. de Jonge and D. Giebels (2015); “Handling the “environmental knowledge paradox” in estuarine and coastal policy making”, Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Corrected Proof; Available online: 4 December 2014 under DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.10.013

Contact: v.n.de.jonge@planet.nl

Link: ScienceDirect

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Implications of population and tourism development growth for Bulgarian coastal zone

Coastal zones are comprised of a great variety of natural ecosystems and resources and for this reason they are highly attractive for many human activities including settlement and recreational tourism. This great societal interest has resulted in rapid development and even urbanization of the coasts. Coastal tourism is still a rapidly growing part of the economy in many nations including countries along the Black Sea like Bulgaria. Increasingly, coastal areas and ecosystems are pressured by population, tourism, pollution, habitat degradation and loss, overfishing and increased hazards. This study assesses the population changes during 1934–2011 and tourist growth over 1999–2011 in the coastal zone of Bulgaria as an example of human pressure on today’s shorelines. The tourist boom over the last decade has resulted in substantial coastal population growth in Bulgaria. Results based on 2011 Census data show that population density in the zone within 10 km of the coast is 223 people per square km, while in 10–30 km and 30–60 km zones from the coast, the density is much less: 27 and 33 people per square km. Tourism has substantially increased over the recent years and it is expected to continue to grow despite the effects of global financial crisis after 2008. Coastal municipalities are also subject to major population influxes during peak vacation periods. Coastal population in summer can typically increase 20 %, but at some municipalities over 320 %. The existing facilities and infrastructure in these most crowded coastal municipalities are unable to meet this additional pressure. These peak periods often overwhelm local treatment capacity resulting in heavy impacts on natural geosystems and natural resources. Obviously, this tourism is critical to many local economies, but in order to preserve the economic benefits, we must also preserve the coastal environment that the tourists so desire. This is the challenge for coastal managers in the 21st Century.

Keywords: Coastal zones; Population and tourism development growth; Bulgaria.

Source: H. Stanchev, M. Stancheva and R. Young (2015); “Implications of population and tourism development growth for Bulgarian coastal zone”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, February 2015, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 59­72; Date: 12 December 2014.

Contact: office@io­bas.bg

Link: Springer

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The capacities of institutions for the integration of ecosystem services in coastal strategic planning: The case of Jiaozhou Bay

This paper explains how the practice of integrating ecosystem­service thinking (i.e., ecological benefits for human beings) and institutions (i.e., organisations, policy rules) is essential for coastal spatial planning. Adopting an integrated perspective on ecosystem services (ESs) both helps understand a wide range of possible services and, at the same time, attune institution to local resource patterns. The objective of this paper is to identify the extent to which ESs are integrated in a specific coastal strategic planning case. A subsequent objective is to understand whether institutions are capable of managing ESs in terms of uncovering institutional strengths and weaknesses that may exist in taking ESs into account in existing institutional practices. These two questions are addressed through the application of a content analysis method and a multi­level analysis framework on formal institutions. Jiaozhou Bay in China is used as an illustrative case. The results show that some ESs have been implicitly acknowledged, but by no means the whole range. This partial ES implementation could result from any of four institutional weaknesses in the strategic plans of Jiaozhou Bay, namely a dominant market oriented interest, fragmented institutional structures for managing ESs, limited ES assessment, and a lack of integrated reflection of the social value of ESs in decision­making. Finally, generalizations of multi­level institutional settings on ES integration, such as an inter­organisational fragmentation and a limited use of ES assessment in operation, are made together with other international case studies. Meanwhile, the comparison highlights the influences of extensive market­oriented incentives and governments' exclusive responsibilities on ES governance in the Chinese context.

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Coastal strategic planning; Institution; Capacity; Jiaozhou Bay.

Source: R. Li, Y. Li, M. van den Brink and J. Woltjer (2015); “The capacities of institutions for the integration of ecosystem services in coastal strategic planning: The case of Jiaozhou Bay”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 107, April 2015, Pages 1–15; Received: 9 January 2014; Received in revised form; 5 December 2014; Accepted: 6 February 2015; Available online: 10 February 2015 under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.02.001

Contact: ruiqian.li@rug.nl

Link: ScienceDirect

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