The Incorporation of Biophysical and Social Components in Coastal Management
Change is inherent in coastal systems, which are amongst the most dynamic ones on Earth. Increasing anthropogenic pressure on coastal zones interferes with natural coastal dynamics and can cause ecosystem imbalances that render the zones less stable. Furthermore, human occupation of coastal zones often requires an uncharacteristic degree of stability for these inherently dynamic coastal systems. Coastal management teams face multifaceted challenges in protecting, rehabilitating and conserving coastal systems. Diverse monitoring schemes and modelling tools have been developed to address these challenges. In this article, we explore various perspectives: the integration of biophysical, ecological and social components; the uncertainties of diverse data sources; and the development of flexible coastal interventions. We propose general criteria and guidance for an Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) to coastal management, which aims primarily at adaptation to global change and uncertainties, and to managing and integrating social aspects and biophysical components based on the flows of energy and matter.