A vulnerability framework to protect coastal social ecological systems

Thumbnail Image
anc-2018-0023.pdf(1.48 MB)
Published version
O'Higgins, Tim
O'Dwyer, Barry
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Canadian Science Publishing
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Due to a long and beneficial legacy, human settlement and development is particularly concentrated in coastal zones and this concentration is expected to continue and increase in the future. Coastal dwelling, however, also entails risks from both anthropogenic and natural hazards and interactions between these. A spatially explicit ecosystem services framework combined with a vulnerability framework is used to explore human relations with the coast and to assess current and future capacities to ensure benefits of coastal migration and to address the risks that these areas pose. The spatial characteristics of some fundamental benefits — transport and settlement, fisheries and waste assimilation — of coastal dwelling and their associated environmental costs are first analysed using modern and historical examples. A variety of spatial characteristics describing human use patterns are then identified. On this basis, the implications of the variety of spatial scales in benefits and costs for effective governance are discussed with reference to historical and current marine and coastal management practice. Our analysis will attempt to demonstrate that incorporating ecosystem services in environmental management may provide a useful tool in the application of ecosystem-based management.
Ecosystem services , Adaptation
O’Higgins, T. G. and O’Dwyer, B. (2019) 'A vulnerability framework to protect coastal social ecological systems', Anthropocene Coasts, 2(1), pp. 279-292. (13pp.) DOI: 10.1139/anc-2018-0023