Social evaluation of coastal erosion strategies in the Ebro Delta, Spain
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The management of most Mediterranean regions has been marked by strongly sectorial and fragmented management visions and practices, together with lack of coordination between the responsible administrations and very little public engagement. As a result, mismanagement practices have often derived in a number of ecosystem failures as well as a number of social conflicts. The authors argue that the assessment of problems and risks affecting coasts have prevented an in-depth understanding of the social dimension. This communication presents the results of research carried out in the Ebro Delta. Its main objective is to explore the social perception of the management strategies to cope with coastal erosion affecting the Fangar bay and the Marquesa Beach (in the northern hemi-delta). The proposals vary from hardengineering to managed realignment strategies and have provoked different social positions. The research was based on a set of in-depth interviews in which key stakeholders were questioned about their opinions of the problem, their perception of the changes involved, and their position regarding each of the management strategies proposed. In short, a social perception study assessing three different scenarios in the medium term was conducted. The results show that while managed realignment strategies were perceived as inefficient and as a threat to the future of several socioeconomic activities (rice, aquaculture, fishing, etc.), conservationist stakeholders defended the need to recover natural dynamics despite their socioeconomic costs. The findings show that extending the problem framing this type of conflicts and analysing social perception might help to represent the complex reality involved and increase transparency in the discussion of trade-offs between multiple dimensions and social values and in deciding on the most suitable management strategy to pursue.
CitacióVillares, M.; Roca, E.; Junyent, R. Social evaluation of coastal erosion strategies in the Ebro Delta, Spain. A: International Conference on Coastal Zone Management of River Deltas and Low Land Coastlines. "First International Conference on Coastal Zone Management of River Deltas and Low Land Coastlines". Alexandria: 2010, p. 1-9.
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