Kathy Belpaeme (Coordination Center on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Belgium) and Hannelore Maelfait (Coordination Center on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-815-9.ch010
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The Belgian Coastal Atlas was published as a book in 2004, triggered by reporting obligations regarding Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) for the European Commission on the state of the Belgian coast. Initially there was no intention to move towards a web version. The many enquiries for digital information and interactive maps led to the development of a web based atlas in 2005. This chapter describes the content and set-up of the Belgian coastal atlas, which is quite different from other online atlases. The usage statistics and the success of the atlas are analyzed. Future directions for the atlas are discussed and the possibility to link the atlas to coastal sustainability indicators is considered. The Belgian atlas should develop towards a policy support tool, supporting the ICZM process for a wide range of coastal actors, planners and managers.
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Initiatives Aimed At Supporting Coastal Management

Several initiatives in Belgium have been instrumental in the management of coastal data and information.

Coastal Indicators

To pursue effective policies for the coast, a wide variety of Information and data are needed. A set of sustainability indicators can provide an answer in an easy reference format. The Coordination Centre on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Belgium provides a regular update via a set of twenty-one indicators for the Belgian coast. Forty-three yearly updated and maintained datasets form the basis for these indicators. The underlying datasets capture data on socio-economic and ecological themes at the lowest statistic level possible. These data are stored in a management system, which contains the raw data, but also the calculations needed for determining the value of each indicator. The indicators can have added value when integrated in an atlas, as they make the link between data and policies.

Capturing Marine Data

The Marine Data and Information Centre of Flanders Marine Institute has a mandate to capture, document, integrate and redistribute coastal and marine datasets. These data are stored in the Institute’s Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS). The information is openly available and can be used to support initiatives such as the coastal atlas.

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