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.
Analysis and resolution of coastal resource use conflicts have largely been neglected in coastal research, environmental policies and resource management strategies such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). We review theoretical approaches and empirical studies from European countries about environmental and natural resource use conflicts with the aim to clarify the requirements for developing interdisciplinary coastal conflict research as a component of sustainable coastal management. Issues of terminology, conceptual and methodological differences and requirements for analysing and solving resource use and management conflicts are addressed. Thereafter, possibilities of consolidation of the research field and the perspectives of future coastal conflict research are discussed – along with comparative studies of conflicts, conflict management, and integration of the knowledge of resource users. We conclude that the reviewed conflict concepts, typologies and approaches can be integrated and thus help to improve context-specific analysis of multi-scale coastal conflicts. Such conflicts are part of sustainable resource management that needs to deal with consequences of global environmental change, especially the rise in sea levels in coastal areas.
Source: O. Stephanova and K. Bruckmeier (2013); “The relevance of environmental conflict research for coastal management. A review of concepts, approaches and methods with a focus on Europe”, Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Accepted Manuscript; Available Online: 13 February 2013, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.01.007
Heavily populated urban centers and natural areas located in low-lying coastal regions are highly vulnerable to sea-level extremes. Historical data at many tide gages suggest that changes over time in extremes generally follow the rise in mean sea level. Assuming this observation to hold in the future, a relationship between mean sea-level rise and its associated extremes with a generalized extreme value distribution can provide future return levels of extreme sea levels. Current projections of future sea level, which include varying degrees of acceleration, may result in large increases in extremes that need to be accounted for in the evaluation of existing coastal projects or in the planning of new ones. Because precise quantitative estimates of the uncertainties in sea-level rise projections are not available, scenario-based approaches have been suggested for project evaluation and design. Here, we propose a general method based on the synthesis of extreme value statistics with sea-level rise scenarios that allows any combination of linear or nonlinear local and global sea-level rise components and can accommodate the nonstationary evolution of sea-level extremes. The temporal variation of the design level of protection for coastal projects, expressed as the return period of extreme events, and the future behavior of the risk are explored. The concepts are demonstrated through application to tide gage data at several locations in the United States.
Source: J. Obeysekera and J. Park (2013); “Scenario-Based Projection of Extreme Sea Levels“, Journal of Coastal Research, Volume 29, Issue 1: pp. 1 – 7; Received: 25 June 2012; Accepted: 11 August 2012; Published Online: 6 November 2012; Available under DOI: org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00127.1
Humans constantly modify their environment to better fit their needs. These changes are even more important in small Mediterranean islands, where the flow and type of ecosystem services (ES) is constrained by insularity and heavily exploited by economic activities. We evaluated the dynamics of ES from 1954 to 2007 linked to the changes of the landscape of the Vulcano Island (southern Italy) and related such transformation to the perception of the local communities. We estimated the changes in the total economic value of ES and we coupled this objective assessment with a survey among inhabitants to measure the perception of driving forces and ES. The results show that agriculture was replaced by tourism, which simultaneously has profoundly affected the landscape and brought economic benefits to local population. Despite the urban-sprawl related to tourism development, there is an increase of the flow of ES over time because of the conversion of some land-cover classes into others that provide a greater amount of ES. Local communities are aware of landscape and ES dynamics, but they do not perceive tourism as a driving force, which affects the natural attractiveness and cultural identity of their island. This approach integrates a commonly accepted objective technique to assign value to ES, with a subjective assessment taking into account how local people value the flow of ES. Effective strategies for ES management and governance need to address and incorporate local population expectations so to empower local stakeholders in the achievement of higher level of quality of life.
Source: R. Aretano, I. Petrosillo, N. Zaccarelli, T. Semeraro and G. Zurlini (2013); “People perception of landscape change effects on ecosystem services in small Mediterranean islands: A combination of subjective and objective assessments”,Landscape and Urban planning, Volume 112, April 2013, Pages 63 – 73; Received: 4 May 2012; Received in revised form: 10 December 2012; Accepted: 18 December 2012; Available Online under DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.12.010
Oceans and seas are heavily exploited by different kinds of human activities. More and more information becomes a formative force in governing conflicting human activities and spatial claims at sea, as it is changing processes, institutions and practices of marine governance. This paper presents a conceptual framework for assessing informational processes related to integrated marine governance. Marine scaping serves as an analytical lens, referring to the practice of staging and ordering of marine activities in time and space. The marine scaping framework brings together the dynamics of information and the specific place-bound setting of competing claims at sea, and captures change by looking at the interplay between seascape, humanscape and mindscape. We illustrate the framework with the case of creating a Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network at the North Sea. By showing the process of marine scaping through information, it becomes clear that, until now, specific conditions have frustrated the development of a network of MPAs, but that informational interactions could pave the way for new possibilities at the level of the regional sea (elaboration).
Keywords: Marine scaping; Integrated marine governance; Information; Morphogenetic approach; Marine Protected Areas (MPAs); North Sea.
Source: H. M. Toonen and J. P. M. Van Tatenhove (2013); “Marine Scaping: The structuring of marine Practices”, to appear in Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Accepted Manuscript; Submitted: 11 September 2012; Resubmitted: 20 December 2012; Available Online: 25 January 2013, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.01.001