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|Integrated coastal zone management in Belgium|
Belpaeme, K.; Seys, J. (2003). Integrated coastal zone management in Belgium, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2003). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 28 February 2003: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 12: pp. 22-24
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2003). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 28 February 2003: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 12. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Oostende. VIII, 69 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more
Belgium has a fairly straight coastline, with a length of about 65 km. The Belgian coast is a sedimentary plain, which consists of sandy banks in the shallow sea, sandy beaches and dunes. Behind the dunes the low-lying polders dominate the landscape. The coast is very important from an ecological, economical and social viewpoint. The natural coastal ecosystem is used for many human activities. It is for example a densely populated living space - in some areas the density reaches 485 persons per km2. Other activities and functions include coastal defence, nature conservation, ports and shipping, industry, fishery, agriculture, trade, tourism and recreation. All these activities demand a place within the coastal zone of Belgium. Providing these activities with the desired space but also sustaining and protecting the coast, demands a capable management structure in which competencies and responsibilities are well defined. It also demands that the different interest groups, which are all present and active in the coastal zone understand each other and co-operate on equal terms.