Measuring Environmental Degradation
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Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.
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Chapter 13: Coastal zone and marine area pressures

H. Coccossis


H. Coccossis 1. INTRODUCTION Coastal areas are extremely valuable as they concentrate a rich diversity of natural habitat areas and a large variety of natural resources (Carter, 1988). As the interface area between land and sea, coastal areas are extremely important and fragile from an ecological perspective and should be carefully managed. Coastal areas also provide opportunities for the development of a wide range of human activities, either exploiting local resources (for example fishing, recreation and so on) or taking advantage of favourable locations near the sea (mild climate, break of bulk transport and access to sea routes and so on). As a result there is an increasing concentration of people in such areas (WCED, 1987). These concentrations of population and activities present considerable threats to coastal ecosystems and resources. Four major categories of impacts can be identified. First, there is an impact on the structure and function of natural ecosystems as a result of the construction and operation of facilities for human activities, and the associated development. This impact can be either direct, through loss of vital habitat areas or pollution, or indirect, for example, through noise or the presence of people. A second impact is on the quality and quantity of natural resources (forests, soil, water and so on) as a result of increasing concentration of people and activities adding to the demand for their use and exploitation, and increasing disposal of waste. A third category of impact is on land use, in terms of the spatial...

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