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. 103, 2017-05-05

A narrative method for learning from innovative coastal projects - Biographies of the Sand Engine
(Abstract...)

Shaping the Coast with Permits: Making the State Regulatory Permitting Process Transparent with Text Mining
(Abstract...)

Practical steps toward integrating economic, social and institutional elements in fisheries policy and management
(Abstract...)

Managed retreat as a response to natural hazard risk
(Abstract...)

Abstract

A narrative method for learning from innovative coastal projects - Biographies of the Sand Engine

The cyclic nature of integrated coastal management embodies a learning-based approach. Pilot projects in particular have an explicit learning objective. Whereas learning from (changing) physical aspects is often part of the monitoring and evaluation phase within the ICM cycle, learning from the experiences of people is not structurally embedded in integrated coastal management. In this paper a method for learning from the experiences of different actors involved in the realisation of a pilot project is developed. The experiences of actors are expressed in personal narratives obtained in open interview settings. The narrative method developed in this paper, draws on methods deriving from narrative analysis and social science, and results in biographies that represent shared actor-based perceptions on the origin and evolution of a particular pilot project. Learning is then derived from analysis, interpretation and discussion of these biographies. The method is applied to a Dutch coastal pilot project, the Sand Engine. This massive, artificial, sandy peninsula, implemented in 2011, is designed to enhance coastal safety and forms a nature and recreation area. The narrative analysis of this case results in three biographies that contribute to understanding success experiences in this project, and the resonance of narrative-elements within the coastal policy community.

Keywords: Narrative analysis; Coastal pilot projects; Actor experiences; Governance; Case study.

Source: L. E. Bontje and J. H. Slinger (2017); “A narrative method for learning from innovative coastal projects - Biographies of the Sand Engine”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 142, 15 June 2017, Pages: 186 - 197; Received: 18 October 2016; Received in revised form: 28 February 2017; Accepted: 8 March 2017; Available online: 6 April 2017 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.03.008

Contact: l.e.bontje@tudelft.nl

Link: ScienceDirect

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Shaping the Coast with Permits: Making the State Regulatory Permitting Process Transparent with Text Mining

This paper examines the California Coastal Commission's permitting process. Using several text mining techniques, including web scraping, information extraction, and supervised classification, I demonstrate how to retrieve empirical data from unstructured texts, namely public meeting agendas and staff reports. Contrary to the concern that the Commission routinely delays or rejects permitting requests, the data reveal that outright rejection of permit applications is rare. On average, eight of ten applications were approved. Single-family homes and commercial development projects were approved about 80% of the time; the rates were about 70% for seawalls and retaining walls, and 60% for land-use changes. Most applications were processed swiftly, with a median application length of 3 months. The agency's influence comes primarily from negotiating each application. Qualitative study of 50 cases pertaining to single-family home construction reveals that the agency adopts a “managed development” approach, that is, allowing development but scrupulously managing various aspects of development. These case studies illustrate how the agency interprets the broad, abstract state laws and translates the mandates into enforceable actions as permitting conditions. In areas where the state mandates conflict, particularly over development in receding shorelines, the agency has the largest leverage in creating and implementing its preferred policies. The text mining techniques demonstrated in this paper can be applied to study any governmental agency. These techniques help to extract information from a massive volume of papers and organize them into a database for analyses. The empirical data extracted from texts can significantly increase bureaucratic transparency.

Keywords: Bureaucratic transparency; Coastal regulation; California Coastal Commission; Permitting process; Text mining.

Source: I. Hui (2017); “Shaping the Coast with Permits: Making the State Regulatory Permitting Process Transparent with Text Mining”, Journal of Coastal Management, Latest articles, Pages: 1 - 20; Published online: 14 April 2017 under DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2017.1303694

Contact: irishui@stanford.edu

Link: Journal of Coastal Management

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Practical steps toward integrating economic, social and institutional elements in fisheries policy and management

While international agreements and legislation call for incorporation of four pillars of sustainability, the social (including cultural), economic and institutional aspects (the “human dimension”) have been relatively neglected to date. Three key impediments have been identified: a relative lack of explicit social, economic and institutional objectives; a general lack of process (frameworks, governance) for routine integration of all four pillars of sustainability; and a bias towards biological considerations. Practical integration requires a “systems” approach with explicit consideration of strategic and operational aspects of management; multidisciplinary or trans-disciplinary evaluations; practical objectives for the four pillars of sustainability; appropriate participation; and a governance system that is able to integrate these diverse considerations in management. We challenge all involved in fisheries to immediately take five practical steps toward integrating ecological, economic, social and institutional aspects: (1) Adopt the perspective of the fishery as a ‘system’ with interacting natural, human and management elements; (2) Be aware of both strategic and operational aspects of fisheries assessment and management; (3) Articulate overarching objectives that incorporate all four pillars of sustainability; (4) Encourage appropriate (and diverse) disciplinary participation in all aspects of research, evaluation and management; and (5) Encourage development of (or emulate) participatory governance.

Keywords: Ecosystem approach; Fisheries sustainability; Integrated management; Integrating social and economic aspects; Social-ecological system.

Source: R. L. Stephenson, A. J. Benson, K. Brooks, A. Charles, P. Degnbol, C. M. Dichmont, M. Kraan, S. Pascoe, S. D. Paul and A. Rindorf (2017); “Practical steps toward integrating economic, social and institutional elements in fisheries policy and management”, ICES Journal of Marine Science; Received: 12 September 2016; Revision received: 15 March 2017; Accepted: 16 March 2017; Published: 2 May 2017 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx057

Contact: robert.stephenson@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Link: ICES Journal of Marine Science

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Managed retreat as a response to natural hazard risk

Managed retreat is a potentially important climate change adaptation option, providing an alternative to structural protection or accommodation measures to manage natural hazard risk. However, its application faces challenges given the projected scale of climate-induced displacement and the difficulties of resettlement. We evaluate the drivers, barriers and outcomes of 27 recent cases of managed retreat that have resettled approximately 1.3 million people. A conceptual model based on two key factors - who benefits from retreat and who initiates it - organizes the diverse set of cases into four quadrants. Different socio-political dimensions emerge as particularly influential in each quadrant. The model establishes a foundation for understanding and anticipating case-specific complexities. It can be used to unpack the landscape of managed retreat and evaluate its potential future applications.

Keywords: Managed retreat; Natural hazard risk.

Source: M. Hino, C. B. Field and K. J. March (2017); “Managed retreat as a response to natural hazard risk”, Nature Climate Change, Pages: 364 - 370; Received: 25 July 2016; Accepted: 21 February 2017; Published online: 27 March 2017 under DOI: doi:10.1038/nclimate3252

Contact: mhino@stanford.edu

Link: Nature Climate Change Journal

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