The overall objective of SPICOSA is to develop a self-evolving, holistic research approach for integrated assessment of Coastal Systems so that the best available scientific knowledge can be mobilized to support deliberative and decision-making processes aimed at improving the sustainability of Coastal Systems by implementing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) policies.
Based on a system approach, a multidisciplinary assessment framework will be developed with a balanced consideration of the Ecological, Social and Economic sectors (ESE) of Coastal Systems. This System Approach Framework (SAF) will be used to explore the dynamics of Coastal-Zone Systems and potential consequences of alternative policy scenarios. Achieving this objective will require a restructuring of the science needed to understand the interactions between complex natural and social systems at different spatial and temporal scales including the overall economic evaluation of alternative policies.
Furthermore, SPICOSA will contribute to a more integrated science-policy interface, i.e. specifically by developing and testing deliberation support tools for the transfer scientific products to policy decision-makers, stakeholders, and end-users. The SAF and its tools will be implemented in eighteen coastal Study Site Applications, which range from Norway to Portugal to Turkey and to Romania, A SAF Portfolio consisting of generic assessment methodologies, specific tools, models, and new knowledge useful for ICZM, will be produced in a manner that is user-friendly and updateable for future CZ researchers and professionals.
In addition, SPICOSA will generate new curricula, training modules, and training opportunities for academics and professionals involved in Sustainability Science and ICZM implementation.