Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone



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Session T1.1. Climate Change and the Coastal Zone

Convenor: Felino Lansigan             Co-Convenor: Richard Klein


Coastal zones are vulnerable to climate change and variability and related processes such as sea level rise, typhoons or cyclones, wind circulation, etc.  Assessment of the impacts of climate change on the coastal systems may include the evaluation of both the biophysical and socio-economic processes which can be used to identify and formulate a suite of appropriate and cost-effective strategies to cope up with the associated risks.  On the other hand, assessment of the vulnerability of the coastal system due to climate change may focus on how such driver of change or the causal mechanism affect the response and capacity of the ecological and social elements in the watershed-river-coast continuum.  Such assessment studies may employ a variety or combination of approaches and methods such as (1) modelling and simulation at different scales, (2) scenario analysis, (3) development and use of vulnerability indicators which may be compared across regions and at different scales, (4) assessing vulnerability in the context of sustainability of coastal system, and (5) analysis of risks of socio-economic groups, etc. Regardless of differences in approaches and methods employed, however, assessments of impacts as well as vulnerability studies on climate change and coastal zones contribute to better understanding of the ecological and socio-economic elements.  These body of integrated scientific information may be synthesized, and must feed into a platform or framework for science-based policy formulation  and knowledge-based resources management strategies for sustainable coastal zone development.


Session T2.1.  Land-Ocean interactions on vulnerable coastal ecosystems (lagoons)

Convenor: Alice Newton                  Co-Convenor: Nick Murray


Coastal environments occupy one of the most dynamic interfaces on Earth and support some of the most diverse and productive habitats. The existence of many coastal ecosystems is dependent on the land-sea connection or arises directly from it (e.g., lagoons, deltas and estuaries).  Coastal environments, settlements, and infrastructure are exposed to land-sourced and marine hazards such as storms (including tropical cyclones), associated waves and storm surges, tsunamis, river flooding, shoreline erosion, and influx of biohazards such as algal blooms and pollutants.  The changes occurring in the functioning of the global system have implications for human well being.  Basic goods and services provided by coastal systems, such as sufficiency and quality of food and water as well as an environment conducive to human health are all vulnerable to change. All of these factors need to be recognized in assessing human induced changes to the coastal system and the concomitant hazards posed to communities and ecosystems.


Session T3.1.  Sediment flux to the coastal zone: climate change, anthropogenic influences and future trends

Convenor: Juan Restrepo               Co-Convenor: John Milliman


In estuaries and coastal zones, which serve as major sinks for sediments and are the major sites of nutrient-sediment biogeochemical processes, the alteration of the natural river sediment supply can cause considerable changes in the metabolism of the coastal zone and/or coastal zone morphology. Land use and climate change in river catchments during the past century have altered basin hydrology and sediment load, which in turn have produced ecological responses in the upstream and coastal areas of societal significance. The interplay between human induced activities and natural factors along the river catchment /coast continuum has to be understood in assessing the magnitude and variations of sediment flux to the global coastal zone, and the implications of these discharges and changes on human uses and coastal functioning and services.


Session T4.1. Biogeochemical Budgets

Convenor: Dennis Swaney              Co-Convenor: Gianmarco Giordani


Under LOICZ I, considerable progress has been made in compiling nutrient budgets (N, P and occasionally Si) of the world’s estuaries, bays, and even seas.  This work continues, following a well-established LOICZ methodology, and some results on global patterns which are derived from this work have been published.  This session welcomes presentations of budgets of coastal ecosystems and related topics including presentations on:

·         nutrient budgets which follow current LOICZ conventions

·         budget constructed using alternative approaches (especially where comparisons to the LOICZ approach can be made)

·         budgets of materials other than dissolved N and P (e.g. sediment, other nutrients, etc)

·         techniques for assessing particular aspects of nutrient budgets (e.g. specific nutrient fluxes)

·         techniques for addressing analytical issues of nutrient budget calculations (e.g. uncertainty analysis)

·         governance and policy implications in relation to nutrient budgets

·         regional or global syntheses of budget-based information, etc.


Session T5.1. Human Coastal Communities

Convenor: Bernhard Glaeser         Co-Convenor: Patricia Gallaugher


Human coastal communities compete for space and resources. This competition may 

result in conflicts. Conflicts are driven and shaped by economic interests, cultural values, perceptions of coastal images (how one might expect, believe or wish a coast ought to appear), and by visions of coastal futures.

Conflict resolution requires good governance, which implies, first and foremost, participation, transparency, legitimacy, accountability, and recognition of scales. Governance across scales means national ICZM strategies, regional specifications, and local implementation as well as linking different coastal communities and human demands.

Mediation, round tables, and dialogues between different coastal communities and stakeholders are one approach to conflict resolution and an important step towards stimulating, implementing and guaranteeing sustainable coastal development. This paper session features different coastal communities acting at different scales, and their interactions, conflicts, values, and visions. The focus will include, inter alia, fishing, off-shore wind farming, mariculture communities, and island populations.


Session CC.1:            Science, society and management of coastal zones

Convenor: Wilhelm Windhorst        Co-Convenor: Don Alcock


Are we ready to bridge the gaps between stakeholders? How do we increase local knowledge, community action and stakeholder participation for integrated coastal zone management?  Success will depend on developing the skills and capacity of the people involved. The goal of this cross cutting session is to present innovative training and education concepts, methods and programs which will increase our ability to deal with pressing coastal issues. The session will cover formal education, stakeholder training and community education initiatives.


Workshop 1.1             Vulnerability of Coastal Ecosystems and Communities to Climate Change

Convenors: Felino Lansigan                       Co-Convenor: Frank Thomalla


In recent years an increasing amount of scientific research has contributed to improving our general understanding of global climate change and the potential impacts of such change on the world’s coasts.  However, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge with respect to how multiple biogeophysical and anthropogenic processes interact to create risk, and how the vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change is shaped by these interlinked processes. In order to improve our understanding of such relationships, integrated assessments of human and ecosystem vulnerability need to be undertaken at different spatial (continental, regional and sub-regional) and temporal scales.  Thus, following the session on Climate Change and Vulnerability of the Coastal Zone, a workshop will be convened to define the priority research agenda and workplan for the LOICZ II Theme 1 to address the issues of risk, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in coupled human and ecological coastal systems.  The workshop session will involve panel and open discussions on combining or integrating the analytical approaches of both the natural and social sciences in analyzing and assessing the effects and impacts of changes in the coastal zones on humans and ecosystems.  The discussion will focus on the following issues: (1) the development and improvement of scientific methodologies for risk and vulnerability assessments, including indicators, scale of analyses, metrics of measurements; (2) the determination of thresholds and how to cope with uncertainties; (3) the identification of science gaps on risk and vulnerability of coastal systems and how to address them; (4) the identification of adaptive capacities and the development of coping strategies; and (5) how to strengthen scientific networks, research links and collaboration in the context of LOICZ SPIS.


Workshop 2.1:            The Potential Contribution by LOICZ to Integrated Coastal Management

Convenor: Peter Burbridge            Co-Convenor: Ben Malayang III


Integrated Coastal Management  (ICM) represents the current phase in development planning where the interactions between land and sea are recognised as having a major influence on how coastal systems respond to human activities. ICM also recognises the influence of policies, investment strategies and development plans governing human activities have on the ability of coastal systems to sustain human development needs and aspirations.

The five new Research Themes are intended to promote better integration among scientific disciplines and our partnership with the International Human Dimensions programme will help to engage the social science more effectively with our strong natural science foundations. The theme on Sustainable Use of Coastal Regions and Natural Systems forms one mechanism for better integration of the results and findings of individual LOICZ initiatives. To be fully effective this and other themes must consider the community of ICM policy makers, planners, managers and people who live and work in coastal regions as essential users of the products of LOICZ science.

LOICZ science has great potential to have a positive influence on policies, strategies and more local management plans for coastal regions. For this to happen the LOICZ community must develop a culture that strives for greater integration of the results of past research, that develops more integrated science in the new research themes and most important- seeks to communicates the results of past and on-going research more effectively with potential users from the field of governance and management.  This is a major challenge we must address at this Open Science Meeting.


Workshop 3.1.            Coastal Biogeochemical and Ecological Models

Convenor: John Parslow                 Co-Convenor: Jack Middelburg


LOICZ 1 adopted a diagnostic approach to coastal biogeochemical modelling, developing a formal and consistent framework for quantifying and analyzing the fluxes and transformations of biogeochemical tracers in coastal systems. LOICZ II will also use prognostic coastal models to predict the responses of coastal biogeochemical (and ecological) systems to changing local and global pressures. There have been major advances in coastal modelling in the last decade, arising from advances in coastal observing systems, process understanding and computing power. This workshop will review the state-of-the-art in both diagnostic and prognostic coastal models, and identify promising approaches for further development and application. The workshop is intended to set the scene for a stand-alone workshop dedicated to this topic to be held later in 2005.


Session T1.2. Geohazards, ground water and risk

Convenor: Nalin Wikramanayake    Co-Convenor: Evgeny Kontar


Shelf zones and coastal zones are becoming major areas of industrial and technological development because of the growing human population in coastal regions and because of their store of natural resources such as fish, oil and gas. Therefore, understanding the risks of natural and human-made hazards in these areas assists to safeguard the populations in these regions and to strengthen the scientific and technological basis of a number of industries including oil and gas production and maritime transport. This session will focus on evaluation of risks of saltwater intrusion, contaminated submarine groundwater discharge and their influence on coastal oceanographic processes, submarine earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, to produce a cohesive understanding of geo-risks and human-made hazards in coastal, shelf, and continental slope areas.


Session T2.2. Ecosystems, land and sea use (Deltas)

Convenor: Yoshiki Saito                  Co-Convenor: James Syvitski


Sediment-carrying rivers drop a significant portion of their load at their mouths, allowing nutrient-rich deltaic flood plains to form. These agriculturally productive regions are home to the competing factors of urbanization, food production and often become the intersection between terrestrial and seagoing transportation. Deltas support the world's largest wetland areas.  Deltaic coasts are sensitive to the strong but competing influences of sea level fluctuations, accommodation space and sediment supply.  Humans now strongly influence upstream sediment supply, and either directly or indirectly sea level change, resulting in coastal erosion. Conversion of natural wetlands (e.g. mangrove swamps) to agricultural land also influences the reach of storm surges, and separately the retention of sediment. Stop banks (levees) further decrease the nutrient supply to the delta plains.  Deltaic coasts have been more vulnerable and need sustainability under human pressure.


Session T3.2. Coastal waters ecohydrology: from the mountains to the coast

Convenor: Laura David                    Co-Convenor: Eric Wolanski


Point and non-point source pollution throughout the river catchment, erosion, basin-wide land clearing, urbanisation, industrialisation, and other unsustainable human activities induce and perpetuate habitat loss, negative impacts on estuarine and coastal marine resources, and the loss of the ecological services that they provided. Of particular concern is the increasing number and capacity of dams in the watersheds, as well as, the growth of mega-harbours and mega-cities at the coast. Ecohydrology is an emerging problem-solving approach that involves addressing the whole catchment (including hydrological processes and biotic dynamics) as a single entity in order to be able to understand the science (and hopefully promote sustainable management) of estuaries and the coastal zones. The temporal and spatial dimensions in such an approach spans a time frame from paleohydrological conditions to future global change scenarios and an understanding of the dynamic role of biota from cellular to basin scales.


Session T4.2. Application of Remote Sensing for Coastal Area management

Convenor: Götz Flöser & Weigen Huang  Co-Convenor: Paul DiGiacomo


The coastal zone is a unique area where five major earth systems, the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and, in high latitude, the cryosphere overlap and are integrated. It has a special role from economic and environmental points of view. The need to understand the interactions linking land-ocean processes to climate in the coastal zone has become a matter of the most serious concern during the last two decades. Remote sensing is one of the important approaches to this concern. It has been used to monitor the coastal zone change and to study the interaction between land and ocean.


Session T5.2.  Integrated assessment of coastal change and management: Socio-economic modelling and future scenarios

Convenor: Kerry Turner                  Co-Convenor: Robert Nicholls


This session focuses on the need for interdisciplinary approaches to the analysis of long term coastal change and its consequences for society. Speakers will concentrate on the use of scenario-based analysis, following the lead taken by groups such as IPPC. Such approaches first require the combining of natural science modelling outcomes (forcing parameters) and socio-economic driving pressures to provide predictions of the impacts on the environment and economy of the catchment/coast; the subsequent need is then for an analysis of the welfare consequences of the change process over the long run. Both developed and developing country contexts will be reveiwed.


Session CC.2.            Dutch LOICZ

Convenor: Hans de Boois               Co-Convenor: Carlo Heip


In this session an overview will be presented of current Dutch research on coastal systems. Key aspects are the holistic nature of coastal systems on the one hand and the disciplinary character of research on the other. A multidisciplinary approach is a prerequisite to address the themes which are formulated for LOICZ-II, but the basic science is disciplinary.


Workshop 1.2.            Issues of scale in bridging the natural and social sciences

Convenor: Alison Gilbert                 Co-Convenor: Jan Vermaat


Natural and social sciences, and disciplines within these broad categories, tend to have different perspectives on scale as well as different methods in dealing with environmental issues which span scales. The aims of this workshop are:

  1. to examine our capabilitiy to deal with multiple scales when analysing coastal zone process, function and governance;
  2. to identify incompatibilities between/among disciplines; and
  3. to identify potential means of bridging them.


The workshop will not only be relevant for LOICZ, but it will also contribute LOICZ expertise to a current activity within IHDP's IDGEC project.


Workshop 2.2.            Conceptual synthesis of global coastal environments

Convenor: Bill Dennison                 Co-Convenor: Don Alcock


The aim of this half day workshop is to develop conceptual diagrams for the major coastal regions of the world. Regions will be large scale (eg NE Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, Caribbean Islands, West Africa, tropical Australia etc) and will capture key environmental processes, key environmental threats and key required management initiatives for each region. Diagrams will initially be drawn by hand and then converted to electronic format using the IAN symbol libraries in Adobe Illustrator (

The workshop will run approximately as follows:

45 mins: introduction to conceptual diagrams and aims

1 hr 30 mins: working in predetermined regional groups, draw regional conceptual diagrams

45 mins: review conceptual diagrams from regions and plan continued effort


Workshop 3.2.            Integrating socio-economic variables in mapping and modelling material deliveries from catchment to coast

Convenor: Liana Talaue-Mcmanus            Co-Convenor: Deborah Balk


This workshop will explore current approaches and methods in integrating spatially explicit socioeconomic variables in mapping and modelling deliveries of materials (sediments, nutrients, water) from the catchment to the coast. It will identify a list of mappable socioeconomic indicators that correlate with changes in land use, population, hydrology and coastal uses within various scenarios of economic development, at national and regional scales. In addition, the session/workshop will pinpoint existing datasets at regional and global scales that can be used to develop these indicators.


Workshop 4.2.            Marine Protected Areas – a management tool for ICZM?

Convenor: Jackie Alder                               Co-convenor: Ron Johnstone


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an increasingly popular management tool with multiple ecological and social goals. They are a societally constructed management intervention requiring increased understanding as such. Specifically, there is a need to apply rigorous integrated social and natural science to increase our understanding of the human dimensions of MPAs and to improve their design, implementation, and monitoring. Conflict, diffusion of innovations, and social movements in support of MPAs are important phenomena warranting immediate attention.


Session T1.3. Coastal assessments

Convenor: Laurence Mee                Co-convenor: Veerle van der Weerd


Modern approaches to marine and coastal management such as Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) and Adaptive Management are heavily reliant on our ability to assess the changing state of the environment, the pressures and socio economic drivers that produce state changes, the social and economic impacts of change and the governance structures, stakeholder attitudes and financial scope to respond to undesirable change. The concept of environmental assessment has moved from a static snapshot of pollution or biological community structure, to a more comprehensive and dynamic systems approach. Techniques for doing this are relatively new however and it is a good time to share current knowledge and practice through the experience of practitioners in this area. The session will benefit from a diverse group of specialists working in local, national and transboundary contexts, including several major international programmes.


Session T2.3.  Urbanisation

Convenor: Michel Meybeck             Co-Convenor: TBA


Urbanization has been one of the key drivers of Global Change over the last 50 years. In the coastal zone it generally combines (i) the development of megacities, (ii) the industrialization, (iii) the construction of facilities for navigation, (iv) the artificialization of the coastline, particularly as a result of mass tourism. These pressures have induced specific environmental issues as the direct release of liquid solid and atmospheric wastes to the coast, with and without adequate treatment, the profound modification of the aquatic habitat and shoreline through harbour construction, channelization of estuaries and deltas, wetland filling. The natural filter functions of the coast are therefore very much altered by urbanization, particularly in deltas and river flood plain regions. In addition to these direct impacts groundwater overpumping in deltaic aquifers and subsequent land subsidence and salt wedge intrusion is commonly observed. Land-use change around megacities (e.g. for suburban development, for fuel wood consumption) can also lead to dramatic changes in water, sediment and nutrients transfers from land to the coast through rivers.

In addition to these issues, most coastal megacities are built up in lowlands sensitive to sea level rise. The management of coastal urban area should consider these multiple conflicting uses together with an Earth System approach at the local to regional scale. Even if appropriate Human responses from coastal stakeholders are taken to alleviate environmental pressures, coastal managers are faced with long-term inheritated issues as pollution hot spots in sediments, fate of contaminated dredged material, severe deteriorations of coastal habitats and food chains etc.

The session should privileged the analysis of multiple urban pressures and their ecological and economic impacts on the coastal resources as well as the modification of coastal filters, the development of indicators of changes that can be used to scale, map and assess the evolution of these issues, and the best governance to manage these questions.


Session T3.3.  Nutrient flux to the coastal zone: tends and implications

Convenor: Nancy Rabalais              Co-Convenor: Sybil Seitzinger


Accelerated nutrient flux from water- and airsheds is becoming a major, global environmental problem in estuarine and coastal waters linked to landscapes with population growth and their activities, a focusing of the populace in coastal regions and agriculture expansion. Humans have altered cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus over large regions and increased the mobility and availability of these nutrients to coastal ecosystems.  It is likely that coastal nutrient over-enrichment will continue to expand globally given the trajectories of future nutrient loads both in developed and developing countries.  Changes in nutrient flux cannot be de-coupled from changes in hydrology, sediment loads, and climate.  Understanding these complex interactions is imperative in efforts to target, by time and type, nutrient loads to coastal systems.


Session T4.3.  Shelf processes and Earth system

Convenor: Helmuth Thomas                Co-Convenor: Dileep Kumar & Jack Middelburg


This session will be jointly convened by LOICZ, IMBER and SOLAS. The session intends to identify joint interests and to initialise joint implementation strategies for coastal zone research, this including the land and atmospheric communities in order to address this issue as comprehensive as possible.


Session T5.3. Coastal Ecosystem Governance

Convenor: Stephen Olsen               Co-Convenor: Alejandro Robles


Governance is the process by which human societies negotiate the purposes, the rules and the procedures by which they regulate their activities and distribute power, access to resources and wealth.  All governance systems are driven by the values that reflect what a society believes to be important. Governance systems are also shaped by the ecosystems in which a society lives as well as by their relationships with other societies with which they interact.  Together these combine to form perceptions of how the world works and how an individual or group fits within their context.  When considering the issues posed by the governance of a coastal ecosystem a first step is to understand how the associated population perceives the past trajectory of change and articulates goals for a desirable future. The analysis of governance systems is directed at understanding how the planning and decision making process relates to expressions of ecosystem change at a range of interconnected spatial and temporal scales.


Session CC.3.            Coastal typologies and datasets

Convenor: Dennis Swaney              Co-Convenor: Bob Buddemeier


The LOICZ environmental dataset, a global datset of environmental variables at ½ degree  resolution, was developed during LOICZ I to form a basis for categorizing coastal and marine environments at global and regional scales.  LOICZview, a sophisticated, online interactive software tool for statistically classifying such data, was developed in tandem assist environmental scientists in developing such typologies.  During the last 10 years, with the rise of GIS software and increasing availability of satellite imagery, we have seen an explosive growth in global and regional environmental data developed for many purposes. This session welcomes presentations on new datasets, typologies, and analytical tools developed either independently or with LOICZ, including presentations on:

·         Global and regional datasets relevant to the coastal zone

·         New typological analyses of the coastal zone

·         Addressing scaling questions (i.e. upscaling and downscaling beyond the resolution of the data)

·         Technical (data analysis)  issues related to developing typologies

·         Governance and policy implications of coastal classifications


Workshop 1.3 Coastal assessments

Convenor: Laurence Mee                Co-Convenor: Martin Adriaanse


Modern approaches to marine and coastal management such as Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) and Adaptive Management are heavily reliant on our ability to assess the changing state of the environment, the pressures and socio economic drivers that produce state changes, the social and economic impacts of change and the governance structures, stakeholder attitudes and financial scope to respond to undesirable change. The concept of environmental assessment has moved from a static snapshot of pollution or biological community structure, to a more comprehensive and dynamic systems approach. Techniques for doing this are relatively new however and it is a good time to share current knowledge and practice through the experience of practitioners in this area. The session will benefit from a diverse group of specialists working in local, national and transboundary contexts, including several major international programmes.


Workshop 2.3.            Gauging Progress In Coastal Governance

Convenor: Stephen Olsen               Co-Convenor: Yves Henocque


Long-term and effective coastal governance is the major factor limiting progress towards the goal of more sustainable forms of coastal development. Science informs the processes of governance, but rarely drives them.  Adequate funding is also essential but much that is allocated to improved coastal ecosystem planning and decision making is squandered. This session explores the concepts and tools for developing governance baselines and monitoring progress towards unambiguous goals that define desire desired societal and environmental conditions in a manner that encourages learning and adaptation.  It will  explore the interaction between the natural and social sciences and the processes by which coastal governance evolves and responds to new knowledge.  Conclusions will be drawn on best and worst practices and recommendation will be made.


Workshop 3.3.            Implementation, Integration, and Participation:  Strategies for LOICZ II

Convenor: Bob Buddemeier                       Co-Convenor: Bruce Maxwell


The workshop will consider how to preserve, expand on, and augment the successful techniques of LOICZ I in addressing the topics of LOICZ II, building on the preceding sessions and workshops to develop specific recommendations.  Productive experience with database development and typology applications in LOICZ I will provide a basis for addressing communication, information infrastructure, and shared resources as critical elements in building both community and capacity while addressing the scientific goals.  Implementation strategies will need to address the increased diversity and sophistication of both scientific goals and available technology.  In addition to action recommendations, desirable workshop products include initial formulation of proposals for infrastructure support, and identification of issues to address in a possible follow-up workshop on typology and data/information resource needs.