Climate change, sea-level rise, warming of the North Sea, extreme weather events, increasing precipitation in Northern Europe, droughts in Southern Europe, shifts in marine fisheries production, changes in tourism and recreational activities, destruction of marine habitats and an unsustainable use of marine resources. These all are popular issues or concerns in the media and in governmental and scientific reports.
The recently published study of the European Environment Agency, Impacts of Europe’s changing climate, is an example of a study that focuses on the effects of climate change in Europe. Problems and risks dominate our view of the sea, while the measures to tackle these are mostly sectoral in nature instead of integrated or multi-functional. They also tend to focus on short-term solutions and seldom address long-term ones. Mostly these solutions are re-active rather than pro-active.
In the foresight study Zee in zicht – zilte waarden duurzaam benut (Sea Ahoy! Sustainable use of marine resources in English) another approach was chosen. This study offers an attractive bouquet of innovative concepts for future sustainable use of marine living resources in the North Sea. In the context of this study, which resulted in a 369-page publication in March 2004, a wide variety of Dutch experts and professionals participated in a two-year process, structured around so-called creative Design Groups.
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