Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
Climate change is impacting upon global marine ecosystems and ocean wide changes in ecosystem properties are expected to continue. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been implemented as a conservation tool throughout the world, primarily as a measure to reduce local impacts, but their usefulness and effectiveness is strongly related to climate change. MPAs may have a role in mitigation through effects on carbon sequestration, affect interactions between climatic effects and other drivers and be affected themselves as the distributions of protected species change over time. However, to date, few MPA programmes have directly considered climate change in the design, management or monitoring of an MPA network. This paper presents a series of international case studies from four locations: British Columbia, Canada; central California, USA; the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand; to review perceptions of how climate change has been considered in the design, implementation, management and monitoring of MPAs. The results indicate that some MPA processes have already incorporated design criteria or principles for adaptive management, which address some of the potential impacts of climate change on MPAs. Key lessons include: i) Strictly protected marine reserves are considered essential for climate change resilience and will be necessary as scientific reference sites to understand climate change effects ii) Adaptive management of MPA networks is important but hard to implement iii) Strictly protected reserves managed as ecosystems are the best option for an uncertain future. Although the case studies addressed aspects of considering climate change within MPA networks and provided key lessons for the practical inclusion of these considerations, there are some significant challenges remaining. This paper provides new insights into the policy and practical challenges MPA managers face under climate change scenarios.
Source: C.R. Hopkins, D.M. Bailey and T. Potts (2016); “Perceptions of practitioners: Managing marine protected areas for climate change resilience”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 128, August 2016, Original Research Article, Pages 18-28; Available under: DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.04.014
Economic valuation of marine ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea region has gained importance, as policy-makers are recognizing their decline and focusing on achieving good environmental status there in terms of, for example, reduced eutrophication. Parallel with this development, several initiatives have been launched, leading to a large number of economic valuation studies. However, current research indicates that neither a common approach to classifying ecosystem services nor a widely accepted methodological framework for assessing their economic value exist yet. This paper seeks to shed light on the current state of the economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by the Baltic Sea through reviewing all currently available empirical studies on the topic. The results indicate that only a few ecosystem services, including recreation and reduction of eutrophication, have been extensively monetarily valued, and still lack cross-study methodological consistency, while many other marine ecosystem services have rarely or never been valued with economic methods. The paper concludes that existing economic valuation studies provide only limited practical guidance for policy-makers intending to improve the environmental status of the Baltic Sea. There is a need for more widely shared agreement on the systematic nature of marine and coastal ecosystem services and especially on a coherent methodological framework for assessing their economic value.
Source: J. Sagebiel, C. Schwartz, M. Rhozyel, S. Rajmis and J. Hirschfeld (2016); “Economic valuation of Baltic marine ecosystem services: blind spots and limited consistency”, ICES J. Mar. Sci. (March/April 2016) 73 (4): 991-1003 DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsv264; Published online: 26 January 2016.
Housing in Colombia, especially social housing, has been a priority issue for governments in recent years; however, it is necessary to consider building more sustainable homes with less environmental impact using local material as opposed to building with conventional materials. Based on these needs, this research aimed to evaluate the potential environmental impact of social housing by predominantly using local resources in the construction phase and surplus resources, such as rainwater and graywater, in the use phase. As a case study, a real social house in the city of Pereira (Colombia) was selected; this house was built by an institutional housing program 15 years ago. From the records of this housing project, it was possible to quantify the local resources used to build the house, which were mainly bamboo (Guadua angustifoliaKunth) and clay tile. Then, new social housing was modeled that used rainwater and reused graywater in non-potable uses during a life cycle of 50 years. In this scenario, we found that the use of local materials in the construction phase of housing and the combination and use of alternative water resources (rainwater, graywater) for domestic non-potable use can decrease the potential environmental impact of building and maintaining this type of housing. This decrease was equivalent to a decrease of 10.9% (Global Warming Potential [GWP] of 137 kg CO2 eq./m2 built) in the total potential greenhouse gas emissions for comparable conventional social housing. The use of local materials and surplus resources (rainwater and graywater) during the life cycle of low-density housing contributes to the emission of fewer greenhouse gases. Additionally, it was observed that the use of local materials for housing projects strengthens local employment options.
Keywords: Life cycle analysis (LCA); Graywater; Rainwater; Urban water; Bamboo.
Source: Morales-Pinzón T., Flórez-Calderón M.T. and Orozco-Gómez I.E. (2016); “Avoiding potential greenhouse emissions by using local materials in housing construction: A case study in Columbia”, Scientific Research and Essays, Vol.11(9), pp. 97-103, May 2016, DOI: 5897/SRE2016.6387; Received: 12 February 2016; Accepted: 14 April 2016; Published: 15 May 2016.
The remote Ningaloo Coast region, the location of Australia's largest fringing coral reef, was designated as World Heritage (WH) in 2011 based on its outstanding natural values. In the past, the WH nomination process predominantly involved experts and state officials. More recently, local community involvement has become a required part of the process, representing a move toward participatory governance that can potentially influence WH designation. Understanding community perceptions of the WH nomination process provides insights into the consequences of community involvement. Interviews were conducted with key local community members involved in the Ningaloo Coast WH nomination. Interviews focused on the perceptions and experience of the nomination process and local meanings of WH designation. Results indicated that while there was support for WH designation, the nomination process was seen as controversial. Community involvement was dominated by local political and social concerns, mistrust, misinformation, and perceived unfairness. Concerns were influenced by past and current government actions and decision-making in the region. The article identifies some challenges associated with local community involvement in a WH nomination process. These challenges raise questions about participatory governance and how local community's engage in the WH nomination process for coastal regions identified by experts as globally significant.
Keywords: Local community; Participation; Perceptions; World Heritage process.
Source: M. Hughes, T. Jones and I. Phau (2016); “Community Perceptions of a World Heritage Nomination Process: The Ningaloo Coast Region of Western Australia”, Coastal Management, Volume 44, Issue 2, 2016; pages 139-155; Published online: 23 March 2016; DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2016.1135275