FEC Workshop on Assessing the Sustainability of Coastal Lagoons (Gdynia, Poland – June 22, 2023)

The Future Earth Coasts (FEC) Workshop on the Assessment of Coastal Lagoons and Their Sustainability took place on Thursday, June 22nd, at the Eurolag10 conference held in Gdynia, Poland. With participation from 20 experts representing Europe, Latin America, and Africa, the workshop aimed to enhance our understanding of the sustainability of social-ecological coastal lagoon systems.

Coastal lagoons are intricate, social-ecological systems that offer a wide range of ecosystem services crucial for human welfare and well-being. Their sustainability hinges upon several key factors, including achieving good environmental and ecological status, ensuring responsible economic exploitation with minimal negative externalities, promoting social equity and community-based management of natural resources, and implementing effective governance practices spanning from local to transnational scales.

Assessing the sustainability of coastal lagoons requires the identification of locally adapted indicators covering environmental and ecological aspects, economic exploitation, social equity, and governance. The complexity of this multidisciplinary task poses a challenge in effectively communicating the results to non-specialized audiences, including stakeholders and decision-makers.

The workshop had specific objectives to address these challenges and advance our understanding of coastal lagoon sustainability. These objectives included:

  1. to identify appropriate locally adapted indicators
  2. to apply a uniform scale to the indicators (Bad-Excellent)
  3. to develop an assessment infographic assessing the sustainability of each lagoon
  4. to develop a conceptual diagram for each lagoon
  5. to identify the priorities for management in each lagoon
  6. to identify the commonalities and differences across the different lagoons

The workshop fostered fruitful discussions and knowledge exchange among participants, who brought diverse expertise and perspectives from different regions. The engagement of experts from Europe, Latin America, and Africa contributed to a comprehensive understanding of coastal lagoons’ sustainability challenges and potential solutions.

The outcomes of this workshop are expected to contribute significantly to the advancement of sustainable practices in coastal lagoons worldwide. By developing locally adapted indicators, assessment infographics, and conceptual diagrams, the workshop aimed to facilitate effective communication of research findings to stakeholders and decision-makers. Moreover, identifying management priorities and recognizing commonalities and differences across coastal lagoons will guide future collaborative efforts in achieving sustainable outcomes.

The FEC workshop at Eurolag10 provided a valuable platform for collaboration, learning, and knowledge exchange, underscoring the significance of interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing the complex sustainability issues faced by coastal lagoon systems.

For more information about the workshop and its outcomes, please visit the Eurolag10 conference website: https://eurolag10.mir.gdynia.pl/workshop/.

For more background information: Circles of Coastal Sustainability: A Framework for Coastal Management, please visit: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/12/4886.

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