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A Systems Approach Framework for Coastal Zones

Tom S Hopkins , Institute for Marine Coastal Environment-CNR, Naples, Italy
Denis Bailly, University of Brest, Brest, France
Josianne G. Støttrup , Danish Technical University, DTU Aqua

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04553-160425

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Abstract

This Special Feature Volume examines the potential value of the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) as a methodological framework for the transition to sustainable development in coastal zones. This article provides insight on the Systems Approach, the theory behind it, and how its practical application to coastal zone systems (CZSs) was developed. The SAF is about information for management through a focus on how to generate a higher, dynamic level of information about complex CZSs and how to render this information more useful to end users through a participatory suite of communication methods. The SAF is an open research methodology that investigates the function of systems in order to simulate specific issues or questions concerning their function. The research articles that are included in this Volume demonstrate examples of coupled multidisciplinary methods integrated into SAF simulations appropriate to a selected policy issue and to the social-environmental conditions of each Study Site Application. Their findings are not the result of funded research projects; instead, they are by-products of pilot applications conducted to develop and improve the SAF methodology. The final article of this Volume synthesizes these results in the context of the SAF as a higher level instrument for integrated coastal zone management.

Key words

coastal zones; simulation analysis; sustainable development; systems approach
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087