Expert Couplet for Belgian Coast
1. General Information on the Expert Couplet Node
The relationship between the Maritime Institute and MDK is established since 2001 in the form of consultancy and legal support for policy initiatives. The idea behind this Couplet is that “together we know more than alone”. MDK is a local government competent for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), coastal defence, basic infrastructure in marina’s and hydrographical services. The MI is the maritime research division of the department International law at the Ghent University providing advice and different types of research for ICZM, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), legal aspects of adaptation strategies for coastal zones, coastal zone legislation, International and European Environmental and Biodiversity Law etc.. A good collaboration between MDK and MI means that theory and practice can be linked, leading to mutual support around some dedicated topics (mainly law and policy regarding the sea).
Terms of Reference:
2. General Information on the Belgian Coast Study Site
The Belgian coastline is 67km long and 10 to 15 km broad, and consists of large sandy beaches, dunes and polders. The coastal defence mainly exists of dykes (38km), dunes and large quantities of sand (by carrying out sand nourishment). Almost 85% of the Belgian coast lies under 5m elevation, which makes the Belgian coast one of the most vulnerable coastlines in Europe, and makes the question: how to deal with climate change, in particular sea-level rise, even more pressing.
It is now known that climate change will make coastal zones even more hazardous. The most consistent effects will be due to sea level rise. The exact amount of sea level rise is difficult to predict. According to a study conducted by the MUMM (Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models) in the light of the CLIMAR project, sea level is estimated to rise between 60cm and 2m for 2100, depending on which scenario is used. Climate change also threatens coastal zones with an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as high winds and storms. When we take into account a worst credible extreme storm event, with an associated return period, namely 1/17000 years, a storm surge level of 8m TAW (tweede algemene waterpassing) will be reached in Ostend in the present situation. In the worst case scenario a storm surge level of 10.5 m TAW will be reach in 2100 in Ostend.
3. The Belgian Coast Study Site Area from an ICZM/Climate Change perspective (Powerpoint presentation)
4. Action 1.4 IMCORE Case studies
- Over 85 % of the coast is below 5 m elevation, which places it at increased risk of sea level rise and extreme weather events
- The coastal plain is about 65 km long and 10 to 15 km wide, and comprises beach, dunes and polders. On the seaward side there a continental shelf with numerous sandbanks.
- 60% of the coastline is protected by artificial coastal defence structures (e.g. groins, seawalls, beach groins, breakwaters)
- The remaining 40% is protected by soft and dynamic coastal defence (e.g. dry beach elevation, beach nourishment, planting of brushwood, sand fences, planting of marram grass)
- About 20 % of the coastline is sedimentary, 40 % is erosive and the remaining part is relatively stable
5. Action 2.3 IMCORE Identification of climate change drivers and related issues
Workshop on the Impacts of Climate Change in the Marine environment and coastal zone, the Belgian case.
Issues Identification Belgian Coast:
6. Action 2.5 Belgian case study: Belgium Coast
7. Action 3.3 Exploratory Scenario Approach (Workshop)
Step 1: Identify drivers of change
Workshop: “How dynamic is Belgium’s coastal tourism in times of climate change?” / Workshop: “Hoe dynamisch is ons kusttoerisme in tijden van klimaatverandering?”
October 14, 2010, Blankenberge
Report Workshop/ rapport Workshop:
Annex 1: Report of the workshop: “The impacts of climate change in the marine environment and coastal zone”
Annex 2: Invitation/Uitnodiging:
Annex 3: List of participants/ Aanwezigheidslijst
Annex 4: Questionnaire on adaptation measures/Vragenlijst adaptatiemaatregelen
Annex 5: Questionnaire on socio-economic changes/Vragenlijst socio-economische veranderingen:
Annex 6-7-8-9: Presentations/Presentaties:
Annex 10: Graphs adaptation measures and CLIMAR indicators
Annex 11: Graphs socio-economic drivers of change
Step 2: Establishing future visions for the Belgian Coastal Zone
8. Action 4.3 establishing a coastal adaptation strategy for the Belgian Coast
9. Action 4.4 IMCORE Climate Change proofing of legal and policy aspects of adaptive strategies
Assessment of International and European legislation and policies that support adaptation actions in the coastal zone.
The report on adaptation to climate change and Strategic Environmental Assessment assesses how climate change adaptation concerns can be integrated into the planning process. It examines if the Strategic Environmental Assessment process is a useful tool to address the problems of climate change adaptation in the planning process and identifies possible entry points. Furthermore the report assesses if the integration of climate change is already a commonly used practise in the countries of North-West Europe and if it is recommended at international and European level.
The legal evaluation tool for analysing the institutional adaptation capacity framework of your country/region can be used to identify the existing institutional framework in which the policy on climate change takes place and highlight gaps in the planning policy.
10. upcoming events
Partner meeting: Sefton 10 and 11 May