Bringing the Baltic experience to Cork
Last week, for the first time I had the opportunity to visit and explore the beautiful coastline of County Cork, Ireland.
First of all, I was pretty surprised that Ireland’s seabed territory is one of the largest in Europe, and more than ten times Ireland’s land mass. It was my pleasure to have opportunity to meet Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI), School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork (UCC) and Future Earth Coasts colleagues – I discovered that people here are really friendly and welcoming.
Moreover, the successful coordination meetings with BONUS project BaltCoast advisory board member Dr. Valerie Cummins (BEES/UCC & Future Earth Coasts SSC Co-Chair) and others were organised to discuss implementation of WP6 “Tools & Science-policy integration” and challenges of my PhD research.
Have you ever thought that decisions we make now on our coast – can have long term effects in the future? Why do we need to measure coastal and marine sustainability?
Management and planning of coastal and marine areas are complex processes that more and more require effective support and coordinated development of socio-economic activities while preserving the environment.
Are we moving towards achieving our desired outcomes? Is an indicator something that helps you to understand your position?
The need for a more holistic approach to sea planning and management is needed. Therefore, the BONUS project “BaltCoast: A systems Approach Framework for Coastal Research and Management in the Baltic” has the ultimate objective of developing a coherent and systematic management approach that encompasses multiple impacts in a spatially heterogeneous context.
This is done by using the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) as a tool to be applied through case studies that reflect current regional management challenges and to develop a generic tool for integrated system assessment. Please follow BONUS project BaltCoast news on Twitter: @BaltCoast_SAF
As part of the BONUS BaltCoast project, a new indicator-based tool has been designed specifically to measure the state of sustainability in coastal and marine areas and to evaluate the success of different ICZM best practice examples applied throughout Europe.
The tool includes a set of 45 well-established indicators that are grouped into 4 categories: environmental quality, economics, social well-being and governance/process indicator. To have a look at the indicator spreadsheet tool please visit http://www.baltcoast.net/indicators.html
This methodology can be a tool for the improvement of different ICZM/MSP projects or initiatives because it helps to identify strengths and weaknesses of initiatives and their contribution to sustainable development. Moreover, the methodology based on qualitative results seems to be useful to support strategic planning and SAF evaluations.
This will help decision makers, coastal communities or regions to include sustainability into their development and prospective planning.
All in all, the study visit to Cork was a very rewarding experience for me and I look forward to many more fruitful collaborations in the future.
Researcher in Coastal & Marine Management working group, IOW Germany https://www.io-warnemuende.de/coastal_management.html & PhD student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Klaipėda University, Lithuania https://www.ku.lt/en/