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 development of the marine renewable energy (MRE) will impact traditional users of the marine resource, such as commercial fishermen. This could potentially lead to opposition and spatial conflict. The successful development of the MRE sector will heavily depend on the acceptance of projects by fishing communities. Effective stakeholder engagement is crucial to enhancing acceptance among fishermen. The consultation process is one of the key ways in which to engage fishermen and enable them to participate in decision-making. There is agreement among experts in the field that despite its importance, the consultation process is not effective and it is often carried out from the top down with little opportunity for real participation. A mixed methods research approach was used to examine the experiences of fishermen on their level of involvement in consultations and decision-making on marine renewable energy projects. In total, 104 surveys and 14 in-depth interviews were carried out with fishermen operating from ports at three case study sites around the island of Ireland where MRE projects were being developed. Just over half (56%) of those surveyed felt that they had been involved in consultations, while only 22% felt that they had been involved in decisions made on the projects. The use of participatory mapping tools in the selection of sites for MRE development provides an opportunity for fishermen to influence decisions. Designing and implementing marine spatial plans could also help to provide clarity and transparency over how trade-offs in the use of sea space are dealt with.
Source: K. Reilly, A. M. O'Hagan and G. Dalton (2016); “Moving from consultation to participation: A case study of the involvement of fishermen in decisions relating to marine renewable energy projects on the island of Ireland”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 134, December 2016, pp. 30–40; Available under DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.09.030
Nearly all research focused on understanding perceptions of climate-related risks to coastal resources has used data collected via mail surveys, online surveys or in-depth qualitative interviews. To compliment previous research, this study focuses on objective perceptions of climate-related risks to coastal resources as measured by respondents’ gaze behaviour when viewing images describing or depicting climate-related impacts to coastal resources. We utilize data collected from a survey paired with an eye tracking session to measure perceptions of climate-related risks to coastal resources. We also compare the gaze behaviour of liberals and conservatives when viewing an infographic and a digital photograph illustrating climate-related impacts to coastal resources; these included impacts to: 1) abiotic resources; 2) biotic resources; 3) built infrastructure; and 4) recreation opportunities. Survey data indicate liberal participants believed climate-related risks to all four types of impacts were more serious relative to conservative participants. However, eye tracking data revealed both liberal and conservative participants spent an equivalent amount of time viewing the four types of impacts. Consequently, differences in the extent to which liberals and conservatives perceive climate-related risks to coastal resources may be attributable to differences in how the two groups evaluate each of the specific impacts. Eye tracking data also revealed liberal participants noticed impacts to biotic resources faster than conservative participants. Conversely, conservative participants noticed impacts to built infrastructure faster than liberal participants. The practical implications of these findings are noteworthy: climate change communicators should target messages based on the predominant political ideology of their audience or include both biotic and built infrastructure impacts in their messages to capture wider audiences.
Source: J.W. Smith, K. Bitsura-Meszaros, E. Seekamp et al. (2016); “Political ideologies and the objective measurement of climate-related risks to coastal resources”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, October 2016, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp. 409–422; First Online: 31 August 2016 under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-016-0455-7.
While climate change is projected to increase displacement of people, knowledge on this issue remains limited and fragmented. In his paper we focus on the micro-level and study the effects of individual perceptions of different types of environmental events (i.e., sudden/short-term vs. slow-onset/long-term) on migration decisions. Our results based on newly collected micro-level survey data from Vietnam shows that while slow-onset environmental events, such as droughts, significantly decrease the likelihood of migration, short-term events, such as floods, are positively related to migration, although not in a statistically significant way. When contrasting individual level perceptions with actual climatic events we observe that migrants and non-migrants perceive both long-term as well as sudden-onset environmental events in different ways. While non-migrants are slightly better in judging the actual extremeness of events such as floods and hurricanes, it is the migrants who are slightly better in judging the actual extremeness in the case of droughts.
Keywords: Climate change; Perceptions; Displacement of people.
Source: V. Koubi, S. Stoll and G. Spilker (2016); “Perceptions of environmental change and migration decisions”, Climatic Change, October 2016, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp. 439–451; First Online: 8 August 2016 under DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1767-1.
In terms of construction and energy efficiency, Spain has one of the highest indexes of obsolete buildings among the developed countries. In the case of high-rise hotel buildings, this problem is further added to by the low levels of safety in the case of fire. The development of tourism in the 1950s and 60s led to the construction of a large number of high-rise hotels with 30+ floors. Initially, they conformed to lax, undemanding regulations regarding fire resistance in their structural components, fire escape routes, protected staircases, and so on. The requirements of today’s regulations in this field, contained in the Basic SI Technical Building Code Document, often make the renovation of these buildings an impossible task. Installing specially protected staircases can entail traumatic modifications that are sometimes unviable due to structural conditions or economic considerations. Furthermore, the building’s energy efficiency and CO2 emissions do not correspond to environmentally-friendly practices. This paper examines the above questions with regard to the Hotel Tryp Gran Sol in Alicante, Spain. The hotel is 97 m high and has 31 floors. The integrated renovation of the hotel requires serious reflection upon the building’s global response to personal safety, its envelope components and its air conditioning. Architectural solutions and the building’s economic viability for future exploitation as an important element in the building’s life cycle assessment (LCA) are discussed.
Keywords: Construction and demolition waste; Energy efficiency; Environmental impact; Life-cycle assessment; Safety in case of fire.
Source: V. Echarri, F. J. Aldea, J. G. Gómez and J. Romero del Hombrebueno (2017); “The Integrated Renovation of High-rise Hotels on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast”, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, Volume 12 (2017), Issue 2, pp. 205 – 216; DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V12-N2-205-216.