Despite the fact that the Belgian part of the North Sea and its adjacent coastal zone are rather small, many human activities take place. The Compendium for Coast and Sea aims to outline the policy context and to integrate the scientific knowledge and the socioeconomic data for the different user functions. The ‘use of the sea section’ of the Compendium provides a summary of the scientific knowledge and policy regarding the different user functions on the Belgian part of the North Sea.
Questions this practice may help answer:
- What is the current status regarding scientific knowledge and policy of the different user functions on the Belgian part of the North Sea?
- Which Belgian research groups exists dealing with the different themes/sea uses?
- What infrastructure is in use in the Belgian sea, regarding the different themes/sea uses?
- What legislation is relevant concerning the different themes/sea uses?
The Compendium for Coast and Sea is an initiative of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The mission, goals and end products are guided by an expert group with members from the research community, government and civil society organisations. The expert group is supported by the Compendium secretariat (VLIZ) for the daily tasks and collaborates intensively with the VLIZ Scientific Board, a network of coauthors and reviewers and international experts for the realisation of the Compendium.
The Compendium focuses on the Belgian part of the North Sea (BNS), the adjacent estuaries and the coastal area. The integrated and multidisciplinary character of the Compendium aims to increase the communication within the broad network of marine scientists and experts (from industry, policy, etc.) who are professionally involved with the coast and the sea. Furthermore, it increases the visibility and accessibility of marine research.
Aspects / Objectives:
To provide a summary of the scientific knowledge and policy regarding the different user functions on the Belgian part of the North Sea.
With the launch of the Compendium for Coast and Sea 2018, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) has already reached the third edition of this multifunctional guide for marine experts. As in previous editions, the Compendium aims to encompass the dispersive information from the Flemish-Belgian marine sciences in a scientific and neutral way. To this end, the Compendium secretariat worked intensively with an extensive network of experts. For this latest edition of the Compendium for Coast and Sea, all publications were thoroughly revised and a lot of attention was paid to improving the recognisability and user experience.
In addition to the Compendium for Coast and Sea 2018, VLIZ is also launching a new web portal for marine experts, the Coastal Portal. The Coastal Portal aims to generate customised data products and visualisations around a whole range of marine and coastal themes with the Belgian North Sea as its focus area. A series of useful weblinks provides a strong link between the two initiatives. The Coastal Portal will be systematically expanded in the future, both in terms of content and functionality.
Main Outputs / Results:
The online portal provides the opportunity to pick a specific theme/sea use and go into depth on ‘thematic chapter’, ‘research groups’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘legislation’ and ‘coastal portal’ afterwards.
Many themes and issues are relevant for the Belgian part of the North Sea, but also for other countries. Furthermore, the data portal can be seen as a best-practice example how to well structure and organise information in a user-friendly way.
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee
Costs / Funding Source:
Dr. Hans Pirlet
Head of Policy Information division (VLIZ)