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The Coastal Zone is the long narrow interface between land and ocean that is a dynamic area of natural change and of increasing human useA". The interface is the strip of land, up to 200 km wide, that is inhabited by nearly half the world's human population, plus the fringing sea. Together, these areas contain more than half the planet's natural and man-made wealth in the form of buildings, infrastructure and machinery, human social capital, and the natural ecosystems that provide food, shelter, waste disposal and other services to people. All these assets are threatened by increasing human demands on natural resources and by global changes in climate, elemental cycling, and economic systems. Protecting them requires policies and procedures aimed at sustainability, but environmental protection is only part of the answer. The 'human factor' must also be addressed. This book introduces a 'systems approach' to understanding and managing complex interactions between the natural ecosystems and the human economies and societies in the coastal zone. It draws examples from a successful European research project to show how 'communicative rationality', and the construction of models of 'socio-ecosystems', can be used to help stakeholders, environmental managers, and policy-makers choose between alternative solutions to coastal zone problems. It brings together key ideas about environmental management from the natural, social, and economic, sciences, and will interest all those looking for solutions to environmental problems that take account of human needs and wishes, and use existing human institutions. Complete in itself, and written in non-specialized language, in order to communicate across a range of disciplines, the book is intended to inform academics and professionals about this new approach in coastal zone management, to enrich the final years of degree courses in ecology and geography, resource economics, environmental science and management, and the sociology of environmental conflict and risk. It links to a web-site where are described in detail and a range of examples provided for of this approach to the coastal zone.
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Seven senior researchers from the natural and social sciences who are members of the EU research project Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System AssessmentsA" (SPICOSA). The team is: Denis Bailly, University of Brest, France; Marta Estrada, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain; Thomas Sawyer Hopkins, IAMC, Naples, Italy; Anne Mette, KMGNE, Berlin, Germany; Maurizio Ribera d'Alcala, Zoological Station of Naples, Italy; and Audun Sandberg, BodA University College, Norway.

About the Author

Seven senior researchers from the natural and social sciences who are members of the EU research project Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System AssessmentsA" (SPICOSA). The team is: Denis Bailly, University of Brest, France; Marta Estrada, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain; Thomas Sawyer Hopkins, IAMC, Naples, Italy; Anne Mette, KMGNE, Berlin, Germany; Maurizio Ribera d'Alcala, Zoological Station of Naples, Italy; and Audun Sandberg, BodA University College, Norway.

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