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Indicatoren als instrument voor beleid en communicatie: een case study van de Belgische kustzone
Debergh, H. (2007). Indicatoren als instrument voor beleid en communicatie: een case study van de Belgische kustzone. MSc Thesis. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL): Leuven. 61 pp.

Thesis info:

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Document type: Dissertation

    Coast protection
    Management > Ecosystem management > Coastal zone management
    Policy (government)
    ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]

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    This case study focuses on three indicators designed to describe priority aspects of the biodiversity at the Belgian coastal zone and its protection status: “Area protected by statutory designations”, “Coastal zone species on Red Lists” and “Favourable Conservation Status”. The aim of this case study is to relate the three indicators with the nature and environmental policy in the coastal zone and an Integrated Coastal Zone Management. When developing indicators, a number of problems arise. Indicators should be based on scientific data. There’s a need for more scientific investigation in the coastal zone (especially the marine part) e.g. to extend Red Lists with invertebrate species. An important function of indicators is to reflect trends in time. Next to the expansion of scientific investigations, existing data have to be sufficiently up to date. When visualizing indicators there’s often a need to aggregate data in order to enhance comparability. Yet it is important that information is collected on the smallest possible level to be able to evaluate the policy in a proper manner. The coupling of the indicators to one of the functions of the DPSIR-model is not simple. Multiple answers are often possible depending on the interpretation given. There are no specific policy objectives for the three indicators (and for many other indicators). Target figures or conditions however are a necessity for an efficient use of indicators in the policy cycle. The three indicators can be accompanied by other indicators to provide a better support to the nature and environmental policy concerning biodiversity within the coastal zone. E.g.: an indicator that shows the degree of fragmentation of protected areas. The three indicators give support to the ecological pillar of sustainable development but are also linked to the economic and socio-cultural aspects of our society. The protection of areas and species on land and at sea does not only affect nature and environment but can also be linked to e.g. employment, tourism, safety and biotechnology. The search for good indicators still happens too much from a scientific point of view. Though a scientific base for indicators is necessary, policymakers should be more involved to think about which indicators could be useful to grasp and solve a problem. There are few Response indicators (indicators that measure the response of the government, society, …) for the coastal zone. A suggestion is an indicator that lists the annual expenses for nature and environmental policy in the coastal zone.

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