A considerable amount
of the European Union’s coast is currently eroding despite the
development of a wide range of measures to protect shorelines from eroding
and flooding. The prospect of further sea level rise due to climate
change and the heritage of mismanagement in the past imply that coastal
erosion will be a growing concern in the future. This motivated the
European Parliament in 2001 to initiate a project on developing coastal
erosion policy recommendations and requested the European Commission
to launch the call for tenders “Service contract concerning coastal
erosion – evaluation of the needs for action” (ENV.B.3/SER/2001/0030).
EUROSION is a project
commissioned by the General Directorate Environment of the European
Commission, which was won by a consortium led by the National Institute
for Coastal and Marine Management of the Dutch Ministry of Transport,
Public Works and Water Management. The implementation of the project
started in January 2002. The project is expected to achieve its objectives
by May 2004 and has a budget of five million euros.
is based on the assumption that coastal erosion is a phenomenon that
can never be completely controlled but can be managed in an economically
and ecologically sustainable fashion.
The holistic view favoured by the consortium integrates:
and human-induced causes of erosion (storms, seismic movements,
reduced sediment supply from rivers due to dams, coastal defences
uses of the coast - including both its terrestrial and marine parts
- and ranging from biodiversity and landscape conservation to tourism,
industry and transport
levels of management - from local to European and regional seas
concerns and long term perspectives (e.g. climate change)
supporting the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Practitioners Network
and facilitating access to relevant data and information,
a follow-up to the EU demonstration program on Integrated Coastal Zone
Management - with an emphasis on pilot projects which focused on erosion
management - and is consequently biased towards ICZM strategies.