IODE's Role in Managing and Exchanging Ocean Data from Coastal Zones
The coastal zones in the world are exposed to continuously increasing environmental stresses: pollution, eutrophication, erosion problems which are amplified by steadily growing economic and recreational use and demographic changes. In view of the position of the coastal environment as a buffering zone and interface between land and open ocean, an effort in integrated coastal zone management is required to achieve sustainable development. Besides the possible impact of global climate change also coastal flood protection and related safety aspects are of vital importance to the coastal population, as well as for environment and economy. By their nature, coastal processes are not confined to regional or national boundaries so their solution requires an international approach. Moreover, the problems to be solved require interdisciplinary efforts including environmental, economic and social sciences. Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 places special emphasis on integrated coastal area management. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has proposed a Coastal Zone Management Strategy (CZMS) to be applied for national coastal zone planning and management. Coastal zone management is also one of the key issues for European policy facing the challenges of the 21st Century (White Book, EC, 1994).