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What is SPICOSA?
Figure: SPICOSA Study Site Applications (SSAs)
The Integrated Project SPICOSA
was funded by the EU´s Sixth Framework Programme and took off in February 2007.It aims to develop and test a self-evolving, holistic research approach for the assessment of policy options for the sustainable management
of Coastal Zone
(CZ) systems. It is thus of high relevance to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
and other related European policies
The initiative is based on the insight that policy has not been able to respond effectively enough to human pressures on the coastal environment. A more innovative, thorough approach is needed to treat the coastal zone as an integral functioning system (the CZ System) and to focus more on providing prognostic information to decision makers on how a CZ system might respond to sustainable technical options or management strategies. More...
The term “Alternative Strategies” refers to an updatable suite of options concerning policies, practices, and data requirements that would facilitate an application of the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) methodology, developed during the SPICOSA EU FP6 Integrated Project. The SPICOSA IP had the goal of developing the SAF for Coastal Zone applications in support of Sustainable Development in Coastal Areas and in the context of ICZM. This objective was accomplished through SAF applications in 18 Study Sites throughout the European Region. In addition to the SAF, the Project provided support for its development (supplementary information), archiving (model library and documentation), and dissemination (training and public outreach).
The “Alternative Strategies” discussed herein represent an essential supplement to expedite and enrich SAF applications, which are designed to simulate an issue in a coastal zone system and provide quantitative and qualitative information on various scenarios concering the resolution of the Issue. The goal Alternative Strategies is to make readily accessable to potential SAF users, information regarding political strategies, technical options, and intelligent monitoring that can support the SAF simulation itself and enrich the quality of the simulation of the Policy Issue and enrich its associated scearions.
As an example, a user starts by indentifying a critical policy issue and/or identifying an Impact in a Coastal Zone. The Alternative-Strategy database will quickly locate the key processes that influence the properties of the system and then suggest the right "set" of tools (political, technical and moinitoring) for the issue. This set can be used for all the four stages of the SAF, i.e. from the initial design phase of Issue/scenario identification until the final evaluation to the ouput phanse for the delivery of results concerning the requested management scenarios. Full article
Through SETNet (SPICOSA Education and Training Network) SPICOSA established a platform for disseminating information, knowledge and experiences about systems approaches, specifically for ICZM students and coastal professionals in Europe.
SPICOSA´s central objective of developing the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) centres on methodologies for simulating the function of coastal zone systems. The simulation software EXTEND applied at SPICOSA Study Sites makes it possible to show how complex Coastal Zone systems react in the Study Sites.
The Model Support Team of SPICOSA regularly produces a Special EXTEND Newsletter with information about developments of EXTEND applications, examples, and progress.
Policy instruments for integrated coastal zone management
This article will present different policy tools for use in environmental policy more specific in coastal zone management (CZM). The Policy tools are structured from a macro level (societal), but are also seen from a system perspective. In this perspective society is understood as a set of social systems that relates to their environment through a set of codes, symbols and tools. The various types of instruments or measures belong to a social system cultural, legal or economic. The strategies’ starting point is that the political institutions and their actors– i.e. politicians, technocrats and other managers need be aware of possibilities and limitations to governing coastal zones’ complexity. Most of the policy strategies involve use of two or more of these instruments working together; in other words, they are complementary. The article also link the different instruments to institutional levels – showing on what level they are most common in use, whether it’s on the local, regional, national or international level. Full article
Pressures, impacts and policy responses in European coastal zones
Figure 1: The set of 18 SPICOSA study sites (Map) is representative for the diversity of European coastal environments...
Pressures, impacts and policy responses have been identified for 18 coastal sites in Europe. These sites were selected as study sites for the SPICOSA project, as they constitute together a representative sample of the diversity of European coastal environments. A comparative analysis reveals striking similarities between coastal sites in spite of widely different physical, environmental, social and economic conditions. It therefore makes sense to share experience on policies and practices for defining the best policy responses in each particular case. A generic framework for analysis is under construction in the SPICOSA project, based on the systems approach. This framework of analysis enables the transfer of knowledge and experience among coastal sites, with full consideration of site-specific conditions. Full article