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KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

SUSTAINABLE COASTS? Public and scientific perceptions of drivers aeffecting coastal zone management and ecosystem services

Alternative title: Sustainable coasts

Awarded: NOK 7.3 mill.

Northern coastal regions are currently experiencing major environmental and societal processes of change. An increased focus on the North as an arena for resource exploitation , commercial development and value generation, as well as geopolitical strategies in the development of the future Arctic, brings to the forefront a number of issues. These include, but are not limited to: climate change and effects on environments and communities, adaption to changing livelihood conditions, regionalization and declining rural populations, competition and conflicts between actors in the primary industries, increased importance of fisheries and tourism, , pressures on natural resources and vulnerable environments, and not the least ? challenges to safety, search and rescue operations. In the Coastchange project we have studied how different groups in society, local communities, professional experts, the business community and media perceive and judge processes of change in northern coastal regions. Which environmental and societal changes attract the attention of these groups, how do they judge the importance and relevance of processes of change for future environmental conditions and livelihoods, what are the drivers of change, and which managerial actions may be needed? We chose Helgelandskysten, Lofoten and Svalbard as study areas. We have employed a socio-ecological framework in order to design a multidisciplinary and social science oriented project where we consider environmental, economic, social and political processes as integrated parts in a larger puzzle. The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research has coordinated and led the project I close cooperation with Nord University and Northern Norway Research Institute. The main question we asked was: To what extent is there congruence in how the business community, public management, researchers and the media perceive environmental and societal change, and what may be the implications of this complexity for resource management and local communities? A common theme, touched on by all actors, albeit to varying extent, was the concern over future livelihoods in marginal regions, the uncertainty surrounding the effects of climate change, what will characterize future regional politics, what will be the effects on rural communities of new businesses, and what should be the ramifications for future business development and environmental management policies. For example, the results from this project shows that in one of our study areas the perceived values of living and working in smaller, coastal communities can diverge strongly from those that drive and shape public policy for developing coastal regions. The regional planning processes do not deal adequately with this kind of discrepancy. An example in point is how cultural ecosystem services are show to provide vital contributions to quality of life and well-being, good livelihoods and revenue generation. However, this is hardly reflected at all in current business strategies or land use planning. We also found significant differences in how local communities, professionals and media perceive, interpret and portray the key challenges in coastal regions, which emphasizes the need for broader participation in knowledge generation and strategy development in coastal zone planning. The project also shows that there are major geographic differences in terms of challenges. This pertains especially to climate change which so far causes manageable seasonal variations and changes along the northern mainland coast, while in Svalbard the effects are far more dramatic, pressuring the emergency response system and established business practices and incurring large expenses.

This project takes a social science approach in a multidisciplinary perspective and asks: how do we identify, interpret and apply different perceptions of ecosystem change, underlying causes, and effects on ecosystem services in coastal areas in order to improve management models and land use planning. The novelty of the project lies in expanding traditional notions of ?ecosystems? by building empirical knowledge about how different stakeholders evaluate and perceive forces of change. The project will identify how a range of public segments and stakeholders involved in and/or affected by environmental change and land use planning, perceive a) major direct and indirect drivers of change, and b) effects on salient ecosystem services. The project will use the Lofoten islands and the Svalbard archipelago as study sites, since these locations constitute particularly dynamic coastal socio-ecological systems facing great policy and management challenges.

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KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

Thematic Areas and Topics

KlimaGlobale klimautfordringerPolarArktisReiselivOpplevelser og tjenesterDelportefølje Klima og miljøMiljø og naturmangfoldNordområdeneMiljø og naturmangfoldKlimaMiljø og naturmangfoldMarin forurensning inkl. miljøgifterReiselivReiselivsnæringenPolarSvalbardLTP2 Klima, miljø og miljøvennlig energiMiljø og naturmangfoldTerrestrisk naturmangfold, økosystemer og økosystemtjenesterReiselivLTP2 Utvikle fagmiljøer av fremragende kvalitetMarinMarint arealbruk og arealendringKlimaGlobale utfordringerGlobale utfordringerGlobale klimautfordringerMarinMarin forurensning inkl. miljøgifterNordområdeneKlima, miljø og biologiske ressurserAnvendt forskningMiljø og naturmangfoldGlobale miljøutfordringerPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderMiljø, klima og naturforvaltningPortefølje Landbasert mat, miljø og bioressurserMarinFiskeriMarinHavbrukMaritimSosioøkonomisk forskningNordområdeneSvalbardMiljø og naturmangfoldTerrestrisk arealbruk og arealendringPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderSkog, landbruk og matLTP2 Klima, polar og miljøPolarPortefølje Naturvitenskap og teknologiPortefølje Humaniora og samfunnsvitenskapMarinMarint naturmangfold, økosystemer og økosystemtjenesterMaritimMarinPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderPortefølje HavGlobale utfordringerGlobale miljøutfordringerLTP2 Fagmiljøer og talenterLTP2 Havteknologi og maritim innovasjonLTP2 Marine bioressurser og havforvaltningMiljø og naturmangfoldMarint naturmangfold, økosystemer og økosystemtjenesterMiljø og naturmangfoldMarint arealbruk og arealendringNordområdeneArktisLTP2 HavPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderFiskeri og kystGrunnforskningPortefølje Klima- og polarforskningHavbruk