Developing a method for understanding coastal community vulnerability in EuropeInternal

Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: March 22, 2017
End Date: March 23, 2017
Host: UBO
Venue: European Institute of Marine Studies, Brest, France
Contact: Dr. Amber Himes-Cornell
E-mail: Amber.HimesCornell [at] univ-brest.fr
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2016 Call for Proposals
Total Budget: €7,380
Funds Granted: €7,380

Manager(s): Amber Himes-Cornell
Co-organiser(s): Cristina Pita, Henrique Cabral

Topic

The EU's blue economy (i.e., all economic activities that depend on the sea) represents 5.4 million jobs and a gross added value of just under €500 billion per year. The sea and the coasts are drivers of the economy (European Commission 2012). Marine ecosystems play an essential role in the cultural, social, economic and environmental health of nearly all European coastal communities.

The implementation of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the need to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in each Member State’s national marine waters by 2020, under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; Directive 2008/56/EC), will especially impact fishing activities. The establishment of the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD; Directive 2014/89/EU) will also impact small-scale activities.

This project seeks to use the NOAA methodology as a starting point for developing community vulnerability and well-being indices for coastal communities in the EU. As a first step, the proposed workshop will focus on modifications to the NOAA methodology and data gaps and needs in order to develop quantitative social and fisheries engagement indices specifically for fishing communities in the EU, as well as discuss indices that could be created to measure engagement and dependence on marine ecosystem services beyond fishing.

 

Objectives

The specific objectives of the proposed workshop are to:

  1. Investigate what types of data are currently available that can be used to develop quantitative indices of social and fisheries vulnerability and well-being for EU coastal communities;
  2. Define the data gaps and information needs for developing reliable coastal community vulnerability and well-being indices;
  3. Develop a methodology to create coastal fishing community vulnerability and well-being indices to be applied in the EU context; and
  4. Create a vision and plan for obtaining the necessary data and developing coastal community level vulnerability and well-being indices in the EU.

 

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of this project are the following:

  1. To create a network of researchers that are working on coastal community vulnerability in various parts of the EU and USA.
  2. To write a positioning paper that (a) summarizes the adapted method needed to create coastal fishing community vulnerability and well-being indices in the EU, (b) defines data availability and gaps/needs, (c) identifies information and data collection needs, and (d) provides recommendations on applying this method in a European context.
  3. To develop the basis for a consortium for future European research proposals (e.g., H2020, INTERREG).

Registration

To attend, please contact Dr. Amber Himes-Cornell.

Workshop participants

The European Union's (EU) Blue Economy (i.e., all economic activities that depend on the sea) represents 5.4 million jobs and a gross added value of just under €500 billion per year. Recent developments in EU policy concerning ocean governance, with an increased legislative focus on environmental protection and competing claims for coastal space in the EU, will pose significant management and governance challenges for marine resource use in the near future. MSFD and MSPD specifically require the need for the quantification of social uses of marine ecosystems.

The main objective of the workshop was to bring experts together to adapt the NOAA methodology in order to move towards creating quantitative indices of coastal community vulnerability and well-being that can be comparable across countries and regions of Europe, specifically for fishing communities. As a first step, the workshop participants focused on modifications to the NOAA methodology and data gaps and needs in order to develop quantitative social and fisheries engagement indices specifically for fishing communities in the EU. Participants also discussed indices that could be created. 

Participants discussed writing two peer-review papers to explore the data and methodology. Although workshop participants already have access to some of the data needed to tackle case studies, a common database structure would allow participants from each country to format their own data. Next steps will include compiling the data. Workshop participants also discussed the potential for the consortium to write funding proposals aimed at applying the NOAA methodology more broadly and obtaining useful results for Europe.

Workshop participants contributed to identifying and addressing the current knowledge gaps in the social dimension of marine resource use in the E.U., helping to guide future research and to provide a solid knowledge base for the implementation of the new CFP, the MSFD and MSPD, and thus also contributing to blue growth, and the preservation of coastal communities (particularly in rural areas with lack of alternative job opportunities), their cultural heritage and the ecosystem services on which they depend.

Ultimately, this workshop served two important purposes for creating community level indices in Europe. First, it brought together a suite of researchers working across France, Portugal, Spain and the United States to focus specifically on the potential for developing indices of fishing dependence and social vulnerability across the European Atlantic mainland coast. Second, through this engagement, the workshop has sparked a collective interest in both its participants as well as additional colleagues that have become interested in this topic to form a consortium that can pursue funding to fully undertake the creation of such indices across Europe.