Public perceptions of managed realignment strategies: the case study of the Ebro Delta in the Mediterranean basin
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Managed realignment strategies, based on working with physical processes and dynamic environments, are gaining weight in sustainable coastal erosion management. However, this kind of innovative adaptive strategy can give rise to major social conflicts. A proposal to implement managed realignment in the Ebro Delta in Spain is provoking intense social conflict between different socioeconomic sectors. This qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, analyses social perceptions of three management strategies aimed at coping with coastal erosion in the Ebro Delta in order to throw some light on the main barriers to a managed realignment strategy. The results reveal the complexities of the local conflict and highlights issues such as mistrust of public authorities and limited understanding of managed realignment. A lengthy hold-the-line tradition in coastal policies in Spain and local idiosyncrasies contextualize a problem that was initially perceived as one of the typical conflict of interest between conservationists and the primary economic sector. Efforts to provide transparent information, improve participation and build trust are suggested in order to be able to implement managed realignment strategies with the cooperation of the local community.
CitationRoca, E.; Villares, M. Public perceptions of managed realignment strategies: the case study of the Ebro Delta in the Mediterranean basin. "Ocean and coastal management", Maig 2012, vol. 60, p. 38-47.
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