Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe
Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale
Chapter 14: Pressure indicators in coastal zones
M. Cardoso da Silva 1. INTRODUCTION – COASTAL ZONE PROBLEMS Coastal zones are known to be of a high ecological, social and economic value. As an interface between land and sea, the coastal zone is, by deﬁnition, a unique and fragile resource with a crucial role in the maintenance of a natural equilibrium based on sea–land exchanges. It also has a strategic role in the support of social and economic activities. In addition, the coastal zone has an irreplaceable recreation and leisure function for people living outside the area. A large proportion of the world population lives in the coastal zone. This, together with the unique characteristics of the area and the unusually high diversity of natural resources, creates a potential for a great diversity of activities and for great associated pressures on this zone. The urgency to create mechanisms that harmonize the need for economic development on the one hand and the need to preserve the natural resources of the coastal zone on the other, is generally recognized. These mechanisms should constitute a coastal zone management system based on the concepts of ecologically sustainable development and on the rational use of ecosystems, as deﬁned by the third meeting of the contracting parties to the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially related to Waterfowl Habitat. In the early 1980s, the Conference for the Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (1981) identiﬁed a set of problems and, at the same time, proposed methodologies for better use and,...
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