Ocean &Coastal Management, Vol. 30, Nos 2-3, pp. 83-87, 1996
Copyright (0 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd
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P11: S0964-5691(96)00019-1 0964-5691/96 $15-00 + 0.00



Introduction to the MEDCOAST special issue on the Mediterranean


Erdal Özhan


MEDCOAST, Middle East Technical University, 06531 Ankara, Turkey



In line with the recommendations of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the First International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 93, was held in Antalya (Turkey) during 2-5 November 1993, to start a new conference series aiming to contribute to sustainable development and integrated management of coastal and marine areas of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The conference, organized jointly by the Turkish National Committee on Coastal Zone Management and Middle East Technical University, attracted 140 participants from 26 countries, representing various disciplines and affiliations. A total of 91 papers were presented in 28 sessions, on a variety of topics, ranging from those of scientific and technological nature on one side; to policy and law issues, conservation efforts and management experiences on the other. The papers, a great majority of which dealing directly with the Mediterranean and Black Sea problems, were published in the two volume proceedings.


The MEDCOAST 93 Conference was sponsored by 18 international and national organizations including, the Council of Europe, UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, UNDP, International Coastal and Ocean Organization (ICO), the Association EUROCOAST, and the European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC). The conference topics which were broad enough to cover almost all relevant issues, were presented in three groups, namely: 'Physical, ecological and conservation issues', 'Integrated coastal and sea resource management and development', and 'Coastal engineering, modeling and data management'.

The special issue presents ten papers selected from the MEDCOAST 93 Proceedings. The papers, after changes and corrections by the authors, went through the standard peer reviewing process of Ocean & Coastal Management. Reflecting the character of the MEDCOAST conferences, these ten papers deal with a variety of issues relevant to coastal and sea management, including dune, lagoon and delta management, remote sensing, marine biology, policy and legal issues, and the Mediterranean Action Plan.


The Mediterranean is the first and by far the most advanced effort within the Regional Seas Programme of UNEP The Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) has been worked out for more than twenty years. L. Jeftic (Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan), in his paper Integrated Coastal and Marine Areas Management (ICAM) in the Mediterranean Action Plan of UNEP, focuses on one of the most important activities carried out under the umbrella of the MAP. Dr Jeftic gives a brief description of the Mediterranean Action Plan components, the convention and the protocols, before moving on to the Coastal Areas Management Programme (CAMP). In this section, objectives, methodological framework, and coverage of the projects carried out under MAP CAMP are outlined. A somewhat detailed description of one of the four 'first generation projects', the CAMP for the Island of Rhodes, is given.

In an interesting article (Ancient Mediterranean Harbours: a Heritage to Preserve), which is no doubt a remarkable effort for a writer with coastal engineering background, Leopoldo Franco (Terza Universita degli Studi di Roma) discusses ancient Mediterranean harbours. The main objective of the article is concisely described by the first sentence in the Introduction: 'The motivations for this paper arise not only from the personal curiosity towards the historical background of the own technical discipline (harbour engineering), but also from the disappointing observation that ancient harbours and coastal works are being so much neglected, especially in Italy and other Mediterranean countries which almost uniquely retain this valuable heritage from the 'classic world' and could take advantage of it for a fruitful coastal management'. Prof. Franco, following a detailed presentation of technological futures and evolution of ancient Mediterranean harbours, presents proposals for restoration and preservation, and recommends active management of such sites by declaring them 'coastal-submarine archaeological parks'.


The paper Coastal Zone Management in Turkey by Erdal Özhan (MEDCOAST, Middle East Technical University) describes the institutions involved, and rules and regulations brought up by relevant laws and by-laws in coastal and sea management issues in Turkey, and major efforts for integration of the management. A dedicated 'Shore Law' describes the rules which apply to the use of the shore and the at least 100 m wide shore strip. The paper provides parts of the Turkish constitution and twelve different laws which deal with various development sectors and protection in coastal and marine areas. National and international initiatives during the late 1980s and early 1990s for improving coastal zone Management practices and 'integration' of management, including academic work and several CZM projects, creation of a national network for CZM, establishment of inter agency ad hoc committees, and the CZM component of the recent Black Sea Environmental Programme of the Global Environmental Facility are described.

In Management of Mediterranean Coastal Dunes, F. van der Meulen (University of Amsterdam and European Union for Coastal Conservation) and A. H. P. M. Salman (European Union for Coastal Conservation) provide a theoretical basis for dune management in general and then move on to the Mediterranean sand dunes. The authors give a classification of the Mediterranean dunes based on their genesis and name examples to each type from several countries. Dr Meulen and Mr Salman describe the coastal sand system and the coastal (beach and dune) erosion caused by anthropogenic changes. The 'Nature Management' concept is briefly described by the authors as the basis for proper dune management. The adverse effects of various anthropogenic uses of the Mediterranean dune areas including afforestation, agriculture, tourism and urbanization, recreation (and particularly for golf courses) are discussed by pointing out specific examples in several cases.


A. Sánchez-Arcilla (Catalonia University of Technology) and coauthors, in their paper Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the Ebro Delta: a First Approach describe the present and future work planned in the scope of a comprehensive project (a part of the MEDDELT Project funded by the European Union) to study the vulnerability and response of the Ebro Delta to climate change. The use of existing and new field measurements to compromise the necessary data base which will be used in conjunction with an integrated conceptual model (physical and ecological) is described. Brief descriptions of the new data to be gathered, the models, and the socio-economic component which is planned to be introduced at a later stage to study various intervention scenarios to cope with the effects of the climate change are provided.

The paper Remote Sensing of Coastal Interactions in the Mediterranean Region by V. Barale and S. Folving (Space Applications Institute) provides useful information concerning the capabilities of remote sensing in the coastal zone and various data sources. The authors provide a brief description of the OCEAN Project, set up by the European Commission for using the existing Coastal Zone Colour Scanner (CZCS) time series and to 'prepare for the exploitation of future ocean colour space mission', and several applications of CZCS images for describing coastal phenomena in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.


Eliodoro Runca (Technital S.p.A.) and co-authors, in their paper Control of Macroalgae Blooms in the Lagoon of Venice, describe the work carried out for improving the quality of the ecosystem in the Lagoon of Venice, as a part of the program financed by the Italian Government. The authors describe the present eutrophication state of the lagoon, and the adverse effects of the blooms of macroalgae (of the type Ulva rigida) to the lagoon's ecosystem. The work carried out includes the use of GIS for assessing the present state of the problem in a geographical sense, and of an ecological model (mathematical model) for evaluating the effectiveness of alternative schemes for the control of eutrophication.

An important problem associated with control of eutrophication in basins of international nature, that of implementing policies and actions both at national and international levels, is brought to attention in the paper Dealing with the Problem of Eutrophication in the Adriatic Basin; the Institutional Framework and Policies by Anna Marson (University of Venice). Dr Marson provides a description of the eutrophication problem in the northern Adriatic, as well as the Italian and international efforts for studying, monitoring, and controlling the phenomenon. Various difficulties, institutional or other, which have contributed to unsatisfactory levels of success up to date, are pointed out and the elements of a proposed new approach are outlined for achieving better environmental management of the Adriatic in the future.


In the paper Evaluation of Coastal Problems at Alexandria, Egypt, Omran E. Frihy (Coastal Research Institute) and co-authors deal with two important coastal issues: erosion of the Alexandria beaches and water pollution along beaches, in the harbours, and in Lake Mariut. The authors provide several recommendations for better managing the coastal zone of Alexandria, which apply also to other areas with similar problems.

Finally, H. Augier (Laboratoire de Biologie Marine Fondamentale et Appliquee et Centre d'Etudes, de Recherches et d'Informations sur la Mer) and co-authors, in their paper Posidonia Oceanica Reimplantation Technology of Marine Gardeners is Now Operational on a Large Scale, describe a field experiment in the Bay of Cannes to test the Cooper's method to regenerate the Posidonia meadows, the most common community of the sea bottom at shallow depths, by using the Posidonia derelicts. Prof. Augier and co-workers provide details of the experiments, and compare the growth parameters of two sets of samples implanted in 1983 and 1990, and of the natural meadows. The authors conclude that the Cooper's method provides an effective technique which can be used in large-scale implantation projects.


In the Recent Developments Section of the special issue, Erdal Özhan reports about the Second International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 95, which was held in Tarragona (Spain) during 24-27 October 1995. The MEDCOAST TARRAGONA DECLARATION, including fourteen recommendations which are seen significant by the conference participants for better managing coastal and sea areas of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, is provided.

A new special issue of Ocean & Coastal Management. on the Mediterranean, perhaps another separate issue on the Black Sea, based on a selection of papers published in the three volume proceedings of MEDCOAST 95, are anticipated for 1997.



The organization of MEDCOAST 93 and preparation of this special issue owes much to several MEDCOAST people. Special thanks are due to the Co-Chair of MEDCOAST 93 Conference, Jack H. Archer (University of Massachusetts, Boston), to two of my assistants Lale Hapoğlu-Balaş and Atila Uras, who contributed extensively to organization of the Conference and to preparation of the proceedings, and to two staff members of MEDCOAST Secretariat, Çiğdem Gencel and Bahar Keskin, for their help in the preparation of the special issue.



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