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.
Operationalizing integrated ecosystem assessments within a multidisciplinary team: lessons learned from a worked example
Sustainability of Basin Level Development under a Changing Climate
Integrated coastal vulnerability assessment: A methodology for coastal cities management integrating socioeconomic, physical and environmental dimensions - Case study of Região dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Adaptation Pathways in Coastal Case Studies: Lessons Learned and Future Directions
Between 2014 and 2016, an interdisciplinary team of researchers including physical oceanographers, biologists, economists and anthropologists developed a working example of an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for three ecologically distinct regions of the Northwest Atlantic; Georges Bank, the Gulf of Maine and the Grand Banks, as part of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Working Group on the Northwest Atlantic Regional Sea (WGNARS). In this paper, we review the transdisciplinary and collaborative process by which the IEA was developed, with a particular focus on the decision points arising from the IEA construct itself. The aim is to identify key issues faced in developing any IEA, practical decisions made to address these issues within the working group and lessons learned from the process.
Source: G. S. DePiper; S. K. Gaichas; S. M. Lucey; P. Pinto da Silva; M. R. Anderson et al. (2017); “Operationalizing integrated ecosystem assessments within a multidisciplinary team: lessons learned from a worked example”, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Volume 74, Issue 8, 1 October 2017, Pages: 2076 - 2086; Received: 7 October 2016; Revision received: 3 February 2017; Accepted: 3 February 2017; Published: 30 March 2017 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx038
The potential impacts of projected future climate change scenarios on the hydrologic response of a water-stressed Mediterranean river basin (Upper Litani River Basin in Lebanon) are quantified and assessed using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model. Projected basin-level changes in water availability are then compared to multi-sector demands estimated under six basin-level development scenarios. The sustainability under these scenarios and the resilience of the system in the face of the projected climatic changes are then assessed in terms of a water resources index, demand reliability, demand satisfaction index, demand reliability index and the average duration of failure. The results reveal that the basin is expected to experience significant alteration in its hydrologic cycle and that current plans envisioning an increase in irrigated areas within the basin, is non-sustainable and will lead to a highly water stressed system. A conservative basin-level plan that integrates both supply- and demand-side measures is proposed in an effort to achieve a more sustainable system.
Keywords: Climate change; Water Stress Indices; Watershed management; WEAP.
Source: I. Alameddine et al. (2018); “Sustainability of Basin Level Development under a Changing Climate”, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, Volume 13 (2018), Issue 3, Pages: 394 - 405; Available under DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V13-N3-394-405
Coastal zones can be considered inherently vulnerable because of sensitive ecosystems, geomorphological dynamics and complexity, and the clustering of many social, economic, and sometimes conflicting activities. In urban areas where tourism is highly treasured, this vulnerability is even worse. Intense demographic pressure may overload the carrying capacity limits of the sensitive coastal ecosystems. This process also exposes the population living in risky areas to physical vulnerability. This paper aims to present a methodology to integrate the physical, socioeconomic and ecosystem dimensions of coastal vulnerability through a useful tool for coastal zone management. It proposes a matrix that allows correlating the exposition degree and adaptive capacity of vulnerability. Based on this matrix it is possible to plot the integrated coastal vulnerability into a diagram of integrated coastal vulnerability assessment (DICVA). The case study of Região dos Lagos presented in this paper uses this integrated approach of coastal vulnerability. Between 2000 and 2010, the urban population grew significantly on the coast subject to erosion and tidal flood, as well as in flood-prone areas around the lagoons. In many cities, a massive influx of tourists surpasses the number of urban residents causing a deficiency in the water and sewage utilities systems. A resulting problem is the risk of groundwater contamination and lagoons pollution. These impacts can backfire and negatively impact the tourism industry as the environmental quality declines and the risk sensation increases. The proposed integrated and updated approach to coastal vulnerability may help understand the complex effects of the relationship found in the different dimensions involved. Furthermore, this approach contributes to the effective use of the matrix and Diagram of Integrated Coastal Vulnerability Assessment, and may guide coastal management actions.
Source: F. Moraes Lins-de-Barros (2017); “Integrated coastal vulnerability assessment: A methodology for coastal cities management integrating socioeconomic, physical and environmental dimensions - Case study of Região dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil” (2017); Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 149, 15 November 2017, Pages: 1 - 11; Published under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.09.007
Climate change adaptation presents a difficult challenge for coastal towns around the world, forcing local governments to plan for sea level rise in a contentious decision-making space. The concept of “adaptation pathways,” a diagnostic and analytical tool to assist in adaptive planning and decision-making, is gaining traction as a way of framing and informing climate adaptation. It provides decision makers a way to acknowledge the inter-temporal complexities and uncertainties associated with the novel dynamics of climate change and a mechanism to manage these challenges in the local context. In 2012, the Australian Government funded an 18-month program to provide decision makers in the coastal zone an opportunity to test the utility of the adaptation pathways concept for coastal climate adaptation. Using a selection of completed projects as case studies, we performed a document analysis to better understand the learnings from the projects. The main themes surrounded: (1) the utility of the adaptation pathway framework in developing options, (2) decision-making rationale and criteria, and (3) stakeholder participation in pathway development. A project participant survey was developed to further understand these themes. Our analysis reveals that “adaptation pathways” was generally framed narrowly and conservatively to emphasize extant economic, administrative and legal considerations over community, participatory, or exploratory ones. Although some case study projects were able to reach a point in the pathway discussion to actively involve stakeholders in their decision-making process, many case studies continued to build technical data as a method for defending policies and actions. These results indicate that coastal adaptation can take-up adaptation pathways as a useful concept for decision-making and planning; however, many councils may still require assistance in stakeholder communication processes in order to develop socially acceptable plans that take into account the full range of values affecting local coastal environments.
Source: B.B. Lin et al. (2017); “Adaptation Pathways in Coastal Case Studies: Lessons Learned and Future Directions”, Coastal Management Journal, Volume 45, Issue 5, Pages: 384 - 405; Published online: 22 September 2017 under DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2017.1349564