A New Perspective on the Way Forward - Case Studies in Integrated Economic and Environmental Coastal Management
We face an increasingly wide range of threats to our marine, coastal and estuarine environments, many aggravated by human activity. Attempts to manage these problems in isolation are looking ever more ineffective and unaffordable, and over-prescriptive regulation threatens to render many options inaccessible. However case studies around the world suggest a radically different more holistic approach. Examining all activities within a coastal zone, the needs of those that are pursuing them and the possibilities for mutually beneficial collaboration can reveal “win-win” opportunities for environmental and economic regeneration that current regulatory authorities and processes might never identify. These can often be delivered at little or no cost to the taxpayer. In many cases the primary drivers for such projects are economic but, since coastal economies are often founded on maximising the returns from their environment, there can be great benefits in an integrated approach. It is becoming clear that protection of habitat and prevention of all negative impacts, however small, may not always be the best tools to nurture our environment and that governments are rarely the best placed to deliver the required solutions. This paper explores the approach of seeking constructive contributions from all those active within a coastal locality and its adjacent marine environment with the aim of achieving a net positive environmental impact, often at little or no cost to the taxpayer, applying conventional risk management practice to mitigate negative impacts.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011