A step-by-step approach towards Coastal Spatial Planning initiative and its implementation in Heraklion Prefecture
Ανάπτυξη εργαλείου εφαρμογής του Παράκτιου Χωροταξικού Σχεδιασμού - Case study N. Ηρακλείου
KeywordsEcosystem-based coastal spatial planning ; Coastal management ; Environmental Policies ; Geographic information systems (GIS) ; Remote sensing ; Key Environmental Indicators (KEIs) ; Ecosystem services ; Geospatial and geostatistical analysis ; Principal Component Analysis (PCA) ; Environmental risk assessment ; Conflict resolution ; Sustainability ; Decicion Support Tools ; Παράκτιος χωροταξικός σχεδιασμός βασισμένος στο οικοσύστημα ; Παράκτια διαχείριση ; Περιβαλλοντικές πολιτικές ; Γεωγραφικά Συστήματα Πληροφοριών (ΓΣΠ) ; Τηλεπισκόπηση ; Βασικοί Περιβαλλοντικοί Δείκτες (ΒΠΔ) ; Οικοσυστημικές υπηρεσίες ; Γεωχωρική και Γεωστατιστική Ανάλυση ; Ανάλυση Κύριων Συνιστωσών (ΑΚΣ) ; Οικοσυστημική Αξιολόγηση Κινδύνου ; Ανάλυση Συγκρούσεων ; Βιωσιμότητα ; Εργαλεία λήψης αποφάσεων
Aim of the dissertation - Coastal regions are among the most valuable ecosystems due to the socioeconomic and ecological benefits and services they provide. Human activities exert pressures, leading to multiple adverse effects on coastal habitats and seriously jeopardize these benefits. Consequently, marine managers and policy-makers are increasingly calling for new approaches and tools able to fully understand the complex interactions between natural and human-induced changes, with a view to safeguarding ecosystem integrity by alleviating conflicts. To achieve the ultimate goal of expanding marine human uses, coordination of coastal environment and marine economy as well as sustainable coexistence, a Coastal Spatial Planning scheme following an ecosystem-based approach is needed. Coastal Spatial Planning (CSP) aims to resolve this contradiction in parallel with the E.U. Marine Strategy Framework Directive, among other EU Directives. The main driver and motivation of this dissertation is to analyse issues pertaining to a step-by-step approach towards the development of a coastal spatial plan in a data-poor region, the northern and southern coastal area of Heraklion Prefecture, in Crete (Greece). This increasingly challenging task requires objectives stipulation, preparation, analysis and evaluation. In this direction, a novel Ecosystem Risk Assessment (ERA) model and a modified conflict analysis are developed. Multisciplinarity is expressed through the following objectives: (i) investigate phases and procedures for the effective CSP implementation in a coastal data-poor region through literature review, (ii) overcome data shortage by developing and integrating surrogate data yet treating diverse and patchy satellite or other datasets by applying geospatial analyses and tools, (iii) propose a comprehensive spatial planning framework through which land-sea interactions are addressed simultaneously, (iv) assure statistically sound outcomes, (v) propose an innovative equation model based on human uses – key pressures linkages and their impact on ecosystem services to identify areas under risk for coastal ecosystems, (vi) identify compatibilities and incompatibilities between human uses as well as between human uses and coastal environment, (vii) estimate the need for zonation plans planning decisions, ensuring the necessary coherence and compatibility between human uses, environment and existing policies, (viii) based on the characteristics of the study area, propose adjustments in order to develop an effective ecosystem-based approach CSP scheme, that can be applied to other similar areas. (ix) Finally, this dissertation discusses the limits and efficacy of modern geospatial tools in CSP. Methodology - The definition and mapping of accurate and sound data concerning ecosystem and socio-economic components is a key aspect of the scoping process of effective CSP within the ecosystem-based spatial management context. In many cases, however, the lack of pertinent environmental variable datasets hinders the development of sustainable policies and practices. Under this framework, a robust and holistic understanding of the coastal ecosystem state by demarcating the human uses, pertinent key pressures as well as final ecosystem services spatial variation and their interactions is of utmost importance. Marine remote sensing has been used extensively to provide such datasets, with limited success due to different spatial resolutions, non-overlapping grids, and different spatial extent, since, in most cases, they are derived from miscellaneous sources. This dissertation proposes a conceptual framework for developing and homogenizing spatially explicit socio-ecosystemic datasets in a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) environment, which is lacking. The datasets, used in this dissertation, were developed from a synthesis of proxy and satellite data for sea- as well as land-based variables. At a starting design state, dataset generation from an initial watershed delineation cascade development provided the foundation of terrestrial influence estimation. Improving the capacity to develop and integrate crucial information in decisional contexts where data are limited and uncertainty is high, is therefore essential to employ a wide range of geospatial tools, during the data handling and geodatabase construction procedure, such as Ordinary Kriging (OK) as an interpolator of satellite data gap-filling near the shoreline, Kernel density, etc. Another crucial part of ecosystem-based CSP is mapping the spatial distribution of pertinent pressures, and identifying Key Environmental Indicators (KEIs). The pressure datasets, used, included abrasion, chlorophyll-a, commercial fish catches, invasive species, light pollution, microplastics, noise pollution, ocean acidification and organic load. These nine Potential Environmental Indicators (PEIs) were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in order to reduce the number of parameters and identify their relationships. Human uses coexistence assessment involves both use-use and use-environment interactions. ERA constitutes a use-environment assessment approach, while a use-use approach is drawn by pairwise marine use compatibility knowledge from existing literature. ERA approach combined with the conflict analysis through the application of their entailed models could give prominence to incompatibilities. In particular, the proposed ERA equation model, engaging scored key pressures and exerted human uses (both marine and terrestrial) yet final ecosystem services (Supporting, Regulating, Provisioning, Cultural) (see Table 3) on the coastal environment, provides a means of spatially exploring environmental impacts of human uses on the final ecosystem services preservation and provision. Impact Risk (IR) results were further clustered using Hotspot analysis via Getis-Ord Gi* statistic. A proposed conflict analysis system employing conflict matrices and compatibility/incompatibility maps has been established to quantitatively evaluate the conflicts among marine human activities. Findings - The designed methodology elaborated GIS-based maps in all research steps. The OK results indicate that the proposed data gap-filling methodology is valid and independent of remote-sensing data characteristics. The effective proposed homogenization and integration of fully diverse satellite datasets and developed proxy variables enabled statistical analysis which showcase 7 shortlisted KEIs: οrganic load, chlorophyll-a, abrasion, commercial fish catches, light pollution, microplastics and noise pollution, indicating their inclusion in the initial steps of CSP implementation. The proposed ERA analysis results were to be expected and showed basically low IR values mostly concentrated in the northern part study area near the coastline. Hotspot analysis based on the IR results unveiled a more extended under-risk area. The results showed that under the current state only incompatibilities under conditions among marine human uses exist. In general terms, both the northern and southern study area meet, at present, the sustainability goals and do not call for zoning schemes. Originality - The novel integration of terrestrial and marine processes is empirically assessed for the first time in a comprehensive spatial plan. This dissertation constitutes the first planning attempt to capture and involve the impact of terrestrial human uses on the marine environment, via a decay function. Novel methodologies have been developed addressing issues, such as proxy datasets development and datasets integration, related to data-limited situations, in order to enable CSP implementation in a feasible, cost-effective and less biased way, contributing to the CSP process improvement. This dissertation contributes further by proposing an equation model of Impact Risk calculation, considering human uses and their scored linkages of key pressures that affect the final ecosystem services altogether. Additionally, conflict analysis, coupled with ERA equation results facilitated incompatibility identification. Despite the limitations and impediments encountered during the research dissertation, lessons learned, as outlined in the above outcomes, represent a step forward compared to methodologies developed so far.