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Public Participation, Coastal Management and Climate Change Adaptation

Nursery-Bray, M, Nicholls, RJ, Vince, J ORCID: 0000-0002-4469-7634, Day, S and Harvey, N 2017 , 'Public Participation, Coastal Management and Climate Change Adaptation', in DR Green and J Payne (eds.), Marine and Coastal Resource Management: Principles and Practice , Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom.

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Coasts around the world face multiple challenges, not least climate change in the form of sea level rise, and with possible increases in the frequency and severity of storms and floods and ocean acidification. At the same time, increasing population pressures and migration from inland to coastal regions means that coastal populations will necessarily expand into the future, with more people and economic assets exposed and potentially vulnerable to these pressures. Managing climate pressures on the coastal zone will be more than a wicked problem and will require great innovation and some hard decisions. Current management activities take place in multiple contexts, and adaptation can be hard or soft, policy based, or driven by incentives or reform. However, it is the people and sectors with vested interests, values, and lifestyles within the coastal zone that are central to future coastal planning. This chapter investigates the role public participation plays in the context of climate change impacts on the coast. First, we present some of the key scientific predictions for the coast and then outline the core concepts and issues around public participation in coastal contexts. Using examples from across the world, we then explore the relationship between coastal management, climate change and stakeholder involvement. In summary, we reflect that while public participation in coastal climate adaptation plays an important role, this does not mean that all participation is appropriate or needed all of the time, especially given the contested nature of the multiple vested interests in the coastal zone. Instead we argue that public participation processes must be part of ongoing coastal adaptation decision making in two ways: (i) by ensuring that valuable community knowledge and feedback is incorporated within upper level decision making, and (ii) by enabling high level policy makers to communicate management decisions, and necessary trade-offs, in ways that will be accepted and palatable to the various 'publics' involved in coastal regions. When introduced in ways that are appropriate to the scale and nature of the coast and climate impact, and coupled with effective and strong high level decision making, coastal management outcomes will ultimately be enhanced.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Nursery-Bray, M and Nicholls, RJ and Vince, J and Day, S and Harvey, N
Keywords: coastal policy, public participation, climate change, oceans
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 The Authors

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