Balancing scienceandsocietythroughestablishingindicatorsforintegrated

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Marine Policy 34 (2010) 772–781

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Balancing science and society through establishing indicators for integrated coastal zone management in the Balearic Islands
´ ´ A. Diedrich a,Ã, J. Tintore a, F. Navines b
a b

´ IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Mediterranean Institute ofAdvanced Studies, Calle Miquel Marques, 21, 07190 Esporles, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain CES, Economic and Social Council of the Balearic Islands, Palau Reial, 19, 07001 Palma, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

a r t i c l e in f o
Article history: Received 24 November 2008 Received in revised form 18 January 2010 Accepted 18 January 2010 Keywords: Indicators ICZM Science-policy gap BalearicIslands Spain

a b s t r a c t
This paper explores the process by which indicators may be developed as tools for communicating science to decision-makers using the participatory approach demonstrated by the Balearic Indicators Project. This initiative reflects a series of compromises considered necessary to achieve the objective of generating an indicator system that is scientifically viable,comparative internationally yet locally relevant, and to facilitate its implementation. The article highlights questions regarding the utility of science for addressing current global issues related to sustainability and why science often fails to promote change at the societal level. & 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The coastal zone is an extremely complexsocial-ecological system that varies in relation to its environmental, socio-economic, cultural and governance factors. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) seeks to develop an integrated model for sustainable development that is based on finding points of convergence among these factors [1–3]. In theory, it is an effective tool for advancing towards sustainability in the coastal zone, ensuring equitable useof coastal resources (natural, socio-economic and cultural) and integration among the different administrative and societal sectors. However, despite significant efforts from scientists and practitioners to mitigate the negative impacts of increasing anthropogenic and natural pressures, the state of the world’s coasts is deteriorating [4–17]. The success of ICZM in supporting sustainability goalsin Europe has been limited due to, among others, the challenge associated with translating the basic principles of ICZM into management action [9,18–20]. Viable, interpretable scientific information is critical for addressing this challenge [12,18,20–22]. However, separation (physical, philosophical and logistical) between the worlds of science and decision-making can hinder the translation

ÃCorresponding author present affiliation: OceanBit, Coastal Ocean Observing and Forecasting System of the Balearic Islands, Parc Bit, Edifico Naorte, Bl.A, Pl.2, Pt.3, Carretera Valldemossa, km 7.4, Palma de Mallorca 07121, Balearic Islands, Spain, Tel.: + 34 971 439 764; fax: + 34 971 439 979. E-mail addresses: (A. Diedrich), ´ ´ (J. Tintore), Navines).

of science into policy, with scientists conducting research without considering the needs of decision-makers and the latter basing their decisions on political premises. Science generally requires considerable data, resources and time to implement and is subject to continual verification and evolutionary changes. Decision-making, on the other hand, needs to be based on simple,interpretable, unambiguous information and generally requires time sensitive and resource efficient responses. This incompatibility between science and policy is being addressed through the emergence of increasing numbers of government science agencies, designed to generate policy orientated science, and with new approaches to science that attempt to bridge this ‘‘science-policy gap’’ that are...
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