The chapter departs from human-nature relations and interlinks changing approaches to integrated and sustainable coastal and ocean management. This paper reviews two decades of interdisciplinary research, 1996–2016. In hindsight, the review discovered an amazing change of focus, adapting to changing societal needs and scientific outlooks: from conflict resolution to governance issues, disaster management, eventually to linking social and ecological factors via typologies of coastal and marine social-ecological systems. Theoretical aspects are embedded and grounded in empirical case studies, taken from economically developed areas [high per capita gross domestic product (GDP) level] in temperate zones (Sweden and Germany) and from economically developing areas (intermediate per capita GDP level with significant incidence of poverty) in tropical zones (Indonesia). Eventually, the maturation of a field may be witnessed.
Wetlands, tidal flats, seaweed beds, and coral reefs are valuable not only as habitats for many species, but also as places where people interact with the sea. Unfortunately, these areas have declined in recent years, so environmental improvement projects to conserve and restore them are being carried out across the world. In this study, we propose a method for quantifying ecosystem services, that is, useful for the proper maintenance and management of artificial tidal flats, a type of environmental improvement project. With this method, a conceptual model of the relationship between each service and related environmental factors in natural and social systems was created, and the relationships between services and environmental factors were clarified. The state of the environmental factors affecting each service was quantified, and the state of those factors was reflected in the evaluation value of the service. As a result, the method can identify which environmental factors need to be improved and if the goal is to increase the value of the targeted tidal flat. The method demonstrates an effective approach in environmental conservation for the restoration and preservation of coastal areas.
Plastic pollution is distributed across the globe, but compared with marine environments, there is only rudimentary understanding of the distribution and effects of plastics in other ecosystems. Here, we review the transport and effects of plastics across terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. We focus on hydrological catchments as well-defined landscape units that provide an integrating scale at which plastic pollution can be investigated and managed. Diverse processes are responsible for the observed ubiquity of plastic pollution, but sources, fluxes and sinks in river catchments are poorly quantified. Early indications are that rivers are hotspots of plastic pollution, supporting some of the highest recorded concentrations. River systems are also likely pivotal conduits for plastic transport among the terrestrial, floodplain, riparian, benthic and transitional ecosystems with which they connect. Although ecological effects of micro- and nano-plastics plastics might arise through a variety of physical and chemical mechanisms, consensus and understanding of their nature, severity and scale is restricted. Furthermore, whilst individual-level effects are often graphically represented in public media, knowledge of the extent and severity of the impacts of plastic at population, community and ecosystem levels is limited. Given the potential social, ecological and economic consequences, we call for more comprehensive investigations of plastic pollution in ecosystems to guide effective management action and risk assessment. This is reliant on (i) expanding research to quantify sources, sinks, fluxes and fates of plastics in catchments and transitional waters both independently as a major transport routes to marine ecosystems; (ii) improving environmentally relevant dose-response relationships for different organisms and effect pathways, (iii) scaling up from studies on individual organisms to populations and ecosystems, where individual effects are shown to cause harm; and (iv) improving biomonitoring through developing ecologically relevant metrics based on contemporary plastic research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Over the last 20 years, marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP)1 has gained a strong political presence in Europe and elsewhere. Before 2006, only a hand- ful of countries had begun to spatially plan sea areas, such as China, where marine functional zoning was first proposed by government in 1998. In Europe, efforts began in 2002 as part of the EU-funded BaltCoast project involving Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Denmark and Finland. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands then became forerunners of MSP in Europe, approving integrated management plans for their waters in 2005. By 2017, the number of countries with MSP initiatives of some type had grown to about 60, the majority of which are in Europe but also some in Central America, Africa and Asia (Ehler 2017; Santos et al. 2019).2