Coastal management in Portugal: Practices for reflection and learning
Portugal is located in the southwest of Europe. From economic, cultural, social and environmental point of views, Portuguese coastal areas face multiple challenges related to the coastal management policy, the functionality of the governmental services and the responses to the society, in particular, to the affected citizens. Qualitative and quantitative understanding of the coastal morphological processes is necessary, as it is a precondition for a successful coastal management approach. This paper aims to provide a general overview of the recent morphological coastal development in Portugal, summarize some past experiences on coastal protection and identify potential problems and challenges as an attempt to support an integrated coastal management policy that can be applied in Portugal and other countries facing the same difficulties to mitigate and manage coastal erosion. Special focus is given to the legal status and policy on coastal monitoring, by analyzing the administration responsibilities concerning coastal management, legislation and regulations, as well as policy tools schemes, built into the legal structure with different levels of hierarchy. The manuscript ends with a brief analysis of some future coastal protection measures that are part of a national coastal adaptation strategy proposed to fulfill a set of goals to be established by 2050.
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