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.
The Barcelona Convention, and its instrument the Protocol for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), entered into force in 2011 with the goal of defining a set of common principles to achieve sustainable development of the coast along Mediterranean countries. Among other challenges derived from the implementation in the Member States is the need of a framework based on a governance platform to support countries in this process. In this context in 2010 the European Commission Framework Programme 7 for research funded a significant project called PEGASO, whose main goal was to construct such ICZM Governance Platform as a bridge between scientist and end-user communities. One of key elements of the Platform was the development of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and a set of sustainability assessment tools required for making multi-scale integrated assessments in the coastal zone. The SDI was based on a network of local geonodes in order to deliver a Mediterranean and Black Sea harmonised sets of data accessible through a dedicated web-based Geoportal. This paper describes the development of the infrastructure, the process of integrating data from diverse formats and nature, and the challenges faced when trying to put in practice a common model to manage complex regions such as the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Source: G. C. Malvárez, E. G. PintadoAffiliated withUniversity Pablo de Olavide of Seville, F. Navas and A. Giordano (2015); “Spatial data and its importance for the implementation of UNEP/MAP ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, October 2015, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp. 633-641; Received: 22 July 2014; Revised: 30 December 2014; Accepted: 5 January 2015; Published Online: 18 January 2015.
In this article we address social acceptance in marine governance. Public support and opposition are critical to any future developments of marine areas, and are often neglected aspects. Whilst one of the main new developments in European marine areas is the increase in sites for offshore wind, social acceptance of renewable energy developments in Europe is shown to be low in a series of on-going studies. There is perhaps often a sense that renewables such as wind, wave and tidal will be 'out of sight, out of mind' when developed offshore but the empirical research evidence from across Europe suggests otherwise. People are protesting against offshore wind, and doing so very effectively, preventing and delaying the development of projects. This article articulates the term “social acceptance” as a goal in marine policy implementation in European waters in general, and provides illustrations of the implications of social acceptance of offshore wind in a series of case studies. The experiences of social acceptance, together with theoretical insights, should be taken into account in future innovations for blue energy at sea, including the wind farms, but also wave and tidal devices and other technological developments.
Keywords: Social acceptance; Marine governance; Offshore wind farms; Public engagement; Blue growth.
Source: K. Soma and C. Haggett (2015); “Enhancing social acceptance in marine governance in Europe”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Corrected Proof; Received: 10 February 2015; Revised: 1 November 2015; Accepted: 1 November 2015; Available Online: 11 November 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.11.001
Our oceans are heavily utilized by a wide variety of human activities that exert pressures which negatively impact marine ecosystems, occasionally leading to unsustainable rates of exploitation. A linkage framework approach can be used to make independent associations between sectors, activities, and the pressures they introduce. However, in reality, many different sectors and their associated activities overlap in time and space, potentially changing the severity of their impact as pressures combine, and undermine the efforts of environmental managers to mitigate the harmful effects of those activities. Here, we present a spatially resolved approach to assess the potential for combined effects using a linkage framework assessment. Using illustrative examples from the Northeast Atlantic, we show the likelihood of changes in pressure severity as a result of multiple overlapping activities. Management options to limit pressure introduction are explored and their benefit-measured as a reduction in the area of seabed impacted-assessed. In its simplest form, the approach can be used to develop potential precautionary management options in areas where data availability is poor and more comprehensive management measures where data are more widely available.
Keywords: Combined effects; Human activities; Management; Maritime spatial planning; Pressure.
Source: F. Goodsir, H. J. Bloomfield, A. D. Judd, F. Kral, L. A. Robinson and A. M. Knights (2015); “A spatially resolved pressure-based approach to evaluate combined effects of human activities and management in marine ecosystems”, ICES J. Mar. Sci. (September/October 2015), Volume 72, Issue 8: 2245-2256; Received: 20 August 2014; Revision Received: 10 April 2015; Accepted: 15 April 2015; First Published Online: 15 May 2015; DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsv080
Although setback zones and lines are considered as a powerful coastal zone management tool ensuring public access, protecting the coastal ecosystem and minimizing natural hazards over developments, the lack of a solid and objective Mediterranean methodological framework for coastal setbacks demarcation appears profound. Especially for countries like Greece, this deficiency leads to long legal disputes encouraging illegal construction on the coastline. In this article a methodology on coastal setbacks demarcation over rocky, impermeable shores is proposed, followed, and implemented along a Greek shoreline, serving as a pilot case study. The methodology is consistent with the requirements of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol and the Greek legislation (L. 2971/2001), aiming to determine the “highest winter waterline,” accounting for the tidal and storm surge effects, the sea-level rise due to climate change impact, the extreme offshore wind and wave analysis, and the maximum potential wave run-up. Such a tool may bridge the gap between legislative provisions and actual ICZM Protocol implementation improving regional coastal management and planning.
Source: G. K. Sylaios, K. Lalenis, S. Anastasiou, I. Papatheocharis and N. Kokkos (2015); “A Tool for Coastal Setbacks Demarcation over Rough, Impermeable Shores: The Test Case of Kavala Coastline (Northern Greece)”, Coastal Management Journal, Volume 43, Issue 5, September 2015, pages 519-538; Published Online: 14 October 2015; DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2015.1051443