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Integrated Assessment of Coastal and Marine Changes Using the Example of Offshore Wind Farms: the Coastal Futures Approach

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This article begins with a discussion of developments concerning offshore wind farms in the German North Sea as an example of marine use change. Specifically, it takes a look at whether Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) can help to improve the planning framework. While ICZM cannot solve all political problems, it meets some planning needs. Recently, integrated approaches have become more and more influential in legislation, but a significant implementation gap exists. To overcome this gap, new modes of coastal governance need to be established (e.g., moving from management of single human activities to management of use patterns, from protection of individual species to protection of ecosystems, or from single scales to multiple scales). The second part of the article describes the integrative approach of the German research project Coastal Futures. Using the DPSIR (drivers, pressure, state, impact, response) framework, scenario storylines were used to describe potential marine use patterns causing different ecological and socio-economic impacts. With the approach developed for the example of offshore wind, Coastal Futures aims to establish a general concept for integrated assessments of coastal change.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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