See below for some of the articles published in a Special Feature: A System Approach for Sustainable Development in Coastal Zones:
A Systems Approach for Sustainable Development in Coastal Zones
A Systems Approach Framework for the Transition to Sustainable Development: Potential Value Based on Coastal Experiments
Tom S. Hopkins , Denis Bailly, Ragnar Elmgren, Gillian Glegg, Audun Sandberg , and Josianne G. Støttrup
Abstract: This article explores the value of the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) as a tool for the transition to sustainable development in coastal zone systems, based on 18 study sites in Europe, where the SAF was developed and tested. The knowledge gained from these experiments concerns the practical aspects of (a) governance in terms of policy effectiveness, (b) sustainability science in terms of applying transdisciplinary science to social–ecological problems, and (c) simulation analysis in terms of quantifying dysfunctions in complex systems. This new knowledge can help broaden our perspectives on how research can be changed to better serve society. The infusion of systems thinking into research and policy making leads to a preference for multi-issue instead of single-issue studies, an expansion from static to dynamic indicators, an understanding of the boundaries between system-dependent and system-independent problems, and the inclusion of non-market evaluations. It also develops a real partnership among research, management, and stakeholders to establish a quantitative basis for collaborative decision making. Furthermore, the article argues that the transition to sustainable development for coastal systems requires consideration of the scale interdependency from individual to global and recognition of the probable global reorganizational emergence of scale-free networks that could cooperate to maximize the integrated sustainability among them
Socioeconomic Response to Water Quality: a First Experience in Science and Policy Integration for the Izmit Bay Coastal System
Leyla Gamze Tolun, Seyla Ergenekon, Selda Murat Hocaoglu, Asli Suha Donertas, Tulay Cokacar, Sinan Husrevoglu, Colpan Polat Beken and Ahmet Baban
Abstract: Deterioration of the Izmit Bay ecosystem, mainly caused by heavy industrialization and urbanization, has significantly impaired its beneficial use and resulted in the surrounding coastal zone losing its attractiveness for the inhabitants. An integrated coastal zone management approach has become an important requirement of future development plans to protect this fragile bay ecosystem. One of the main indicators of deterioration of the Izmit Bay coastal system is the decreasing water quality resulting from increased nutrient loads from the surrounding land.The consensus during the initial stakeholder meeting confirmed the widespread awareness of this phenomenon and “improvement of water quality in Izmit Bay” was determined as the main policy issue at stake. Public perception of and satisfaction with water quality were measured by a willingness to pay (WTP) survey. The WTP for improved water quality was analyzed using the contingent valuation method. According to the questionnaire survey, 55% of the participants are willing to pay to increase the water quality. Impact of water quality on real-estate values was evaluated by hedonic pricing method, which is suitable for estimating direct and indirect use values of water resources. These results were used in a simulation model to assess coupled ecosystem, social, and economic system functioning of the Izmit Bay in response to various scenarios, and thus, to permit the necessary actions to be taken proactively. Two scenario simulations, for which domestic and runoff nitrogen loads are reduced independently, showed that hypothetical domestic wastewater treatment resulted in an improvement in simulated water transparency. The results suggest that domestic wastewater treatment should be a first priority for local administrations.
The Systems Approach Framework as a Complementary Methodology of Adaptive Management: a Case Study in the Urban Beaches of Barcelona
Ben Tomlinson, Sergio Sastre, Dolors Blasco and Jorge Guillén
Abstract: The Systems Approach Framework is a methodological framework designed to enhance the efficacy of human decision-making processes within social-ecological systems with regard to sustainability. The objective of resilience adaptive management is to either maintain the system within the current regime such that the desired ecosystem goods and services continue to be delivered, or to move the system phase to a preferred regime. Although the objectives of the two frameworks are not exactly the same, there are considerable complementarities between them. Through application of the Systems Approach Framework in a case study regarding the urban beaches of Barcelona, Spain, we present some of the main findings revealed during the model construction and stakeholder participatory process. Additionally, we demonstrate that the Systems Approach Framework could be considered a useful step-by-step methodological guide that employs many of the vital components and processes of adaptive management.
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