Measuring Coastal Sustainability: The Sustain Policy Tool
INTERREG IVC programme (Innovation & Environment Regions of Europe Sharing Solutions): European Regional Development Fund
1,8 Mio EUR
SUSTAIN has been a 3-year project addressing environment and risk prevention (Priority 2 of the programme) and the sub-theme water mangement. The project created a fully implementable policy tool to support coastal authorities and communities in their sustainable management. This tool is applicable to all 22 coastal states of the European Union. It is based on a set of easily measurable sustainability indicators that were developed and assessed during the lifetime of the project to enable authorities to measure effectively the sustainability of our coasts.
SUSTAIN Indicator Set
The indicators have been chosen to cover distinct issues within the four recognisable pillars of sustainabilty, i.e. Governance, Economics, Environmental Quality and Social Well-being. Two types of indicators are available: core and optional indicators to reflect locally specific situations which can vary throughout Europe's regions. A checklist approach has been introduced in respect of the Governance pillar, rather than indicators which are difficult to measure.
Data for the relevant indicators is fed into a policy tool, the DeCyDe-for-Sustainability. This is a user-friendly, spreadsheet tool that allows the core indicators to be scored numerically, to suppport the self-assessment and to determine, whether an authority is moving towards a sustainable management. The tool was implemented through participatory workshops with discussion about the issues, indicators and data.
To sum up, the SUSTAIN Indicator Set and the DeCyDe-for-Sustainabiltiy tool constitute a use-friendly, rapid implementation, self-assessment tool which respects the time constraints of policy-makers and other stakeholders.
Apart a DeCyDe-for-Sustainabilty brochure, several reports and guides have been published:
- Measuring Coastal Sustainability, a guide for self-assessment of sustainability using indicators and a means of scoring them
- Transferring Coastal Sustainability, a good practice and policy report
- Improving Coastal Sustainability, a guide presenting lessons learned from the SUSTAIN partnership
- Scoring Coastal Sustainability, a report on the sustainability criteria scoring and their assessment
Workshops and inter-regional exchange visits
Six workshops explored and discussed sustainabilitiy topics, criteria and methodologies for measurement of indicators (see Figure 1 and website):
Also six inter-regional exchange visits enabled partners to exchange experiences on sustainability issues including the transfer of best practices (see Figure 2 and website):
The project partners represent the North Atlantic seaboard, the South Atlantic seaboard, the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea.
1. Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC) - Netherlands
2. Marine Observatory - France
4. The Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (IOW) - Germany
5. Samothraki Municipality - Greece
6. Tagus River Basin District Administration - Portugal
7. Down District Council - UK/Northern Ireland
8. Canary Institute of Marine Science - Canary Islands Regional Govt. - Spain/Canaries
9. Teramo Province - Italy
10. Regional Development Centre Koper - Slovenia
11. University College Cork (UCC) - Ireland
12. Kouklia Community Council (2010-2011) - Cyprus