Assessing sustainability and strengthening operational policy
The key objective of SUSTAIN is to have in place, at the end of three years, a fully implementable POLICY TOOL, applicable for all 22 coastal states of the EU, which will ensure that the integrated management of coastal issues will be both measureable and sustainable. This entails the agreement within the project, of a set of criteria which are readily measurable and which cover both the threats of unsustainable development and the opportunities, provided by a sustainable future, which face all coastal authorities and communities throughout Europe.
The partners in this exciting project have come together to address the challenges that coastal communities face from issues like climate change, pressure on natural resources and the need for economic, social and cultural well-being by providing a new and innovative tool that can be used by the communities to enable them to live in and manage their own surroundings sustainably.
- A policy management tool applicable for all Europe
- A well-defined sustainability indicator set
- Two guides (one with proposals for sustainability improvement, other for authorities to implement indicators)
- Two reports for ease of implementation (one on exchange of experience, other on the sustainability criteria and their assessment)
- Enhanced sustainability of the coastal partner
The innovative character of this project is that it will (a) lead to the formulation of a distinctive set of indicators specifically designed to measure sustainable development. At the moment, an agreed European indicator set applicable for coastal areas to measure sustainability does not exist. This is, therefore, an extremely important management tool that is currently lacking for coastal managers to set a local and regional sustainable agenda and timetable, (b) The indicator set will have been developed by a bottom-up approach from the end-users (local and regional developers) themselves, (c) The methodologies being applied will combine those successfully employed to develop a Progress Indicator for ICZM for the Commission and that used for the tourism sustainability criteria that were developed in the Interreg IIIC project CoPraNet. These methodologies have never been applied to the development of broad, sustainability indicators.
Furthermore, the indicators will come with an implementation Guide for authorities so that other authorities can immediately begin with their implementation and with a Guide to suggest how the sustainability performance might be improved. Since the partnership is Pan-European, encompassing all the regional seas, the indicators will be applicable around the whole coast of the Union and not specific to any one region. This set of indicators will provide a new policy tool to deliver the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy.