We are committed to building a network to connect global knowledge covering all aspects of coastal zones of the World to intensify the impact of research and find new ways to accelerate sustainable development. We promote the active collaboration between nations, disciplines, programmes, researchers and stakeholders to ensure knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of science.
We partner with individuals, programmes, projects and organisations to contribute to our vision and research priorities and goals for engagement and capacity building.
Find information on currently affiliated activities below.
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|Title:||Deltas associated with large rivers: Seeking solutions to the problem of sustainability|
|Acronym:||Mega-Delta Working Group|
|Brief Description:||River deltas are critical for human development as they support a variety of social-economical activities and ecosystems. However, there is a general trend that the delta growth rate is decreasing, resulting in intensified delta erosion and increasing flooding risk; salt-marshes and mangroves are shrinking and the ecosystem is under threat. This has become a global issue needing international collaboration to address. To deal with the increasing risks the deltas are facing, in this FEC Work Group, we propose to systematically and interdisciplinarily investigate the present status of ~25 representative deltas and the threatens they are facing, the methodology for new delta blueprints, the blueprints dealing with critical delta characteristics, and the sustainability of the delta system and its capacity to support regional development for deltas of different physical processes and ecological and economic importance. The objective is to find the solutions to support sustainable and eco-friendly human and nature development in delta regions, and to increase resilience to external changes as regards to river-borne sediment supply decline, sea-level rise, stormy conditions, and the conflicts between human activities and nature conservation.|
|Main contact:||Leicheng Guo, State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University|
|Title:||Sustainable Resilient Coasts|
Coastal zones are at the frontline of sustainability challenges, arising from the exploitation of natural resources such as fish stocks, loss of cultural heritage, changing demographics, waste disposal, and climate change impacts. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA). The coast is one of the most significant unifying habitats in the region.
It is imperative to build the resilience of coastal communities around the world, and in the Arctic and northern periphery in particular. The project will provide a roadmap for protecting, promoting and developing the cultural and natural heritage of sparsely populated and remote coastal communities. Local authorities play a pivotal role in enabling resilience building and coastal sustainability. The project will produce a COAST Toolbox for local authorities, focusing on SMART Blue Growth, which is based on principles of sustainability, mitigation, planning, adaptation, resilience and transition.
COAST-project seeks to establish the NPA region as a demonstration of how to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the coast. The project brings together five partners and six associate partners from Iceland, Finland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The approach includes four demonstration cases, addressing the challenges of sparsely populated, remote coastal communities. Each case is strongly supported through the partners, associates and letters of support, to ensure effective delivery and implementation at the local authority level. COAST applies a three step conceptual framework called Our
Ragnheiður I Þórarinsdóttir, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Agricultural University of Iceland
|Title:||A Sea of Connections: Contextualizing Fisheries in the South Pacific Region|
|Brief Description:||The South Pacific region represents a unique context in which local communities and their political representatives are increasingly committed to integrated management of marine resources and spaces after a predicted dissolution of related community-based activities in the 1970s. This holds especially true for fisheries, the main field of activity in this oceanscape and a critical component of local livelihoods, national and regional economies, and global fish supplies. Fisheries remain one of the most important concerns on the national and regional policy agendas in the Pacific. Recent studies have started to take into account the multi-faceted aspects of Pacific fisheries by articulating ecological and economic perspectives.
Our project aims at broadening this endeavour by re-embedding coastal and oceanic fisheries in their wider context and by exploring the large web of socio-cultural, geopolitical and policy connections within which (largely coastal) fishing practices occur. For this, we conduct an interdisciplinary and multi-level analysis across diverse scales and dimensions of fisheries, fisheries management and marine governance in the South Pacific region, including local perceptions and practices, global changes and drivers, and national and regional management frameworks and strategies. This analysis focuses on three study areas: New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji where fieldwork periods will be conducted.
Three thematic areas will be at the core of the project’s cross-sectional investigations:
1) An environmental anthropology assessment of social values of places and resources in connection with offshore and inshore fisheries;
2) A socio-political ecology perspective on interwoven fisheries and conservation issues within marine protected areas;
3) A policy analysis of the inclusion of fisheries in marine spatial planning.
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) | Germany
|Title:||Nunataryuk – Permafrost thaw and the changing Arctic coast, science for socio-economic adaptation|
Permafrost coasts in the Arctic make up 34% of the world’s coasts and represent a key interface for human-environmental interactions. These coasts provide essential ecosystem services, exhibit high biodiversity and productivity, and support indigenous lifestyles. At the same time, this coastal zone is a dynamic and vulnerable zone of expanding infrastructure investment and growing health concerns. Climate warming is affecting this fragile environment by triggering coastal landscape instability and increased hazard exposure.
A high proportion of Arctic residents live near permafrost coasts and many derive their livelihood from marine resources. They will be directly impacted by rapidly changing conditions at the Arctic coast. Permafrost thaw will lead to destabilisation of infrastructure and natural resource extraction facilities , directly impacting the economy. Greater fluxes of sediment and organic matter from coastal erosion could impact the nearshore ecosystem, including aquatic resources . Permafrost thaw has also been shown to play a role in the health of Arctic coastal communities through changes in water quality and through the potential release of contaminants, frozen bacteria and anthrax. Yet, all of these issues have so far been considered in isolation because of the lack of data for Arctic coastal regions.
The pressing challenge is therefore to quantify and project organic matter, sediment and contaminant fluxes from thawing coastal and subsea permafrost and to accurately assess the implications of permafrost thaw for the indigenous populations, the local communities and the local environment in the Arctic coastal areas. The main goal of Nunataryuk is thus to determine the impacts of thawing land, coast and subsea permafrost on the global climate and on humans in the Arctic and to develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The overall strategy of the Nunataryuk project is to transdisciplinarily bring together high-ranking European and international specialists of the Arctic coast, including natural scientists and the major European socio-economic science groups in order to address these pressing challenges. The project will be a user-driven directly addressing the concerns of local and global stakeholders with regards to permafrost thaw in coastal areas of the Arctic. Nunataryuk will use a conceptual framework inspired by the IPCC report on risks and by the experience gained from interaction with local stakeholders over the past decades. Permafrost thaw is the core focus of Nunataryuk and will be used as the common thread for early consultations with community representatives and other stakeholders.
Prof. Dr. Hugues Lantuit, Adjunct Professor University of Potsdam, Institute for Earth and Environmental Science
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam | Germany
|Title:||Coastal Governance: Embracing Vulnerability and Change|
This project aims to discover innovative coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and change. This is critical because current coastal management approaches are failing as existing threats intensify and novel threats emerge. New knowledge is expected to be generated on diverse vulnerabilities, with insights furthering the theory and practice of coastal management. This is significant to advancing the disciplines of human geography and public policy through improved understanding of the relationships between people, place and change. Governance innovations are expected to support ongoing economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that are derived from the coast.
The project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects Funding Scheme (Project FT180100652). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Government or Australian Research Council.
|Main contact:||Professor Tim Smith, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia|
Coastal Pollution Toolbox
The Coastal Pollution Toolbox is a digital working environment and tool set to study contaminant, nutrient and carbon dynamics in temperate and polar coastal zones. It allows to structure investigations and to provide scientifically sound assessments and products to elucidate origin, effects, and mitigation options. Thereby, it targets to support management of chemical entities for a cleaner ocean.
The toolbox seeks to support the SDG implementation process. The UN-Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development aims at improving the environmental status of the oceans. As SDG #14 specifically addresses the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources, and as it targets to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025, the Coastal Pollution Toolbox guides management of land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, towards coastal sustainability.
In order to solve the contradiction that exists between some areas of the SDG implementation process, the development of the toolbox emphasizes the interactions between goals, such as SDG #14 and SDG #13 (“climate action”), and SDG #7 (“ubiquitous, affordable, reliable clean and modern energy”). In addition, pollution research in the area of urban air quality and the role of shipping emissions considers health effects and human’s exposure, and therefore supports to achieve SDG #11 („sustainable cities and communities”). Research is carried out based on studying multiple stressors and cumulative effects of marine activities, causing pollution, at the coast and in the sea.
To provide solution-oriented research in support of meeting the grand challenges of societal concern, an interdisciplinary and international group of researchers will contribute to the development of the toolbox by using user-centred and participatory co-design processes over the upcoming seven years.
|Main contact:||Prof. Ralf Ebinghaus, Dr. Marcus Lange (both Hereon Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Geesthacht, Germany)|
|Title:||Pathways Of Dispersal for Cholera And Solution Tools DEMOnstrator|
Cholera is a waterborne epidemic disease affecting 1.3 to 4 million people each year worldwide, with 21,000 to 143,000 reported fatalities. Highest incidence is reported in highly-populated coastal regions, connected with enhanced pollution of water bodies and food sources, especially through contamination of drinking water sources. The responsible pathogen, Vibrio cholerae, is harboured by planktonic and detrital hosts, and survive transportation by ocean currents. New reports of pathogen emergence and associated disease outbreaks have been shown in relation with global warming and increase of extreme climate and weather events such as droughts and floods, storm surges, and heat waves.
The ultimate goal of this demonstrator will be to provide a decision-support tool that enables stakeholders to implement preventative measures and so reduce risk for human health.
|Main contact:||Marie-Fanny Racault,
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), Plymouth, UK