Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:19

International experts meet in Granada (Spain) to discuss the role of natural ecosystems in coastal protection


Experts from around the world will meet together to reveal the innovative ways that natural ecosystems can contribute to coastal protection during the next International Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 22-27 February in Granada, Spain (Session 033).

In a future that includes sea level rise, changing weather patterns and increasing coastal populations, traditional "hard" flood defence engineering is going to become increasingly costly. Natural coastal ecosystems, such as biogenic reefs, sea grasses, mangroves, marshes, dune and beach systems, can attenuate hydrodynamic forces, providing protection against erosion, actively contributing to the reduction of coastal flood risk. Used wisely, they can constitute a key part of cost-effective, soft flood defence engineering solutions. Furthermore, these ecosystems also provide a whole package of other important ecosystem services, such as regulation of carbon and nutrient cycling, provision of resources and enhancement of recreation and tourism.

Led by Iñigo J. Losada (IH cantabria), distinguished as the coordinating leading author of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chapter on 'impacts and adaptation to climate change in coastal zones', and with keynote speakers from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, University of Cambridge, University of Antwerpen and Deltares, one of the largest applied research consultancies in the world, the group looks forward to showcasing innovative solutions to this global challenge.

The arena for this invigorating meeting is no coincidence, the International Aquatic Sciences Meeting's organised by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) are immensely popular, attracting around 3000 attendees to discuss everything 'aquatic'. This year the meeting being help in Granada, with local organisation by the Univeristy of Granada, Malaga and Cadiz, is set to be a great success, bringing much appreciated winter visitors to the city and representing a strong international pledge for the quality of Spanish science.

Indeed the special session, The role of natural ecosystems in coastal protection: Mechanisms, quantification and application, blossomed from fruitful collaborations between a consortium of five European institutions (including [the University of Cadiz[GPG1]]) from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Romania and Spain to work on the European Union funded FAST project (Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology, The FAST consortium will generate a standardised service for integrating ecosystem properties into flood risk management strategies. To achieve this objective, space technology and field measurements will be combined to study 8 foreshores and floodplain ecosystems in four European countries.

Interesting links:

 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting Aquatic Sciences: Global And Regional Perspectives — North Meets South 22-27 February 2015 Granada, Spain  
 Program session 033: The role of natural ecosystems in coastal protection: Mechanisms, quantification and application.
 Sponsored by Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography
 University of granada
 FAST project
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