European Coastal Action Plan, 2008
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The European Action Plan, produced by the ENCORA Coordination Action in 2008, provides a reference base for future coastal and marine research investments in Europe and contributes to focusing these research efforts. The foundations of the Action Plan were laid at the Paris Conference of 5-7 December 2007, starting from the research directions set forth in the Aberdeen Declaration.
One hundred and eighty experts in different disciplines, invited for their outstanding expertise, submitted their personal ideas on critical knowledge gaps before the conference. These ideas were discussed in ten parallel workshops led by the ENCORA theme coordinators; each workshop was targeted at a specific aspect of coastal and marine management.
The four major Actions identified at the Paris Conference are:
- THE CONCERTED DEVELOPMENT OF A EUROPEAN NETWORK OF COASTAL AND MARINE OBSERVATORIES. The observatories are development centres for the coherent collection and analysis of coastal and marine monitoring data, where innovative methods for observation and data processing are combined with advanced process-based modelling. In these observatories, data collection, analysis and model development are carried out in an interactive way, to increase our understanding of the complex interactions in coastal marine systems. Interactions are considered among natural processes (physical, chemical, biological) and societal processes (economic, social, cultural). This action is deemed crucial to advance our capability to forecast the response of coastal and marine systems to natural and anthropogenic change, including climate change and pressures resulting from development and exploitation. The article on Field Observation Techniques describes the state of the art of coastal and marine observatories in 2008.
- THE CONCERTED DEVELOPMENT OF A EUROPEAN NETWORK OF CAPACITY BUILDING RESOURCE CENTRES. The Capacity Building Resource Centres cooperate in the development of education and training curricula for coastal and marine resource management. They also develop methodologies and tools for marine and coastal spatial planning, for involving public stakeholders and for performing integrated assessments. Methodologies include instruments for observation and analysis of societal processes, the definition of appropriate process indicators, communication tools and approaches for effective public participation and science-policy dialogue. The strength of the concept of Capacity Building Resource Centres stems from the interaction between practice and policy training and the development of management tools. More details of the Action Plan are presented in the article European Action Plan on Capacity Building for ICZM in Europe.
- MODELLING OF COASTAL AND ESTUARINE MORPHOLOGICAL PROCESSES. A European concerted effort is needed for extending the time horizon of coastal morphologic evolution forecasts. This forecast horizon should encompass the planning time scale of adaptive management strategies in response to climate change. Research will focus on understanding and modelling key processes ruling morphological evolution in the different coastal types along the European shoreline. It will combine theoretical research, including the analysis of coastal feedback processes, with field observations.
- DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS FOR EVALUATING POLLUTION RISKS AND IMPACTS. The development of effective prevention and mitigation measures and the harmonisation of existing regulations is hampered by crucial knowledge gaps regarding the fate of pollutants and their long term impact. More details are presented in the Action Plan on Pollution Prevention, Detection and Mitigation.
The complete Coastal Action Plan can be downloaded here.