Nearly half of the human population lives in the 10% of land that is considered as the coastal zone – a zone of breathtaking complexity, confronted with ever more rapid transformation processes and sustainability issues. Most of today’s coastal zone problems involve many competing interests and it is of crucial importance to simultaneously assess the social and ecological dimensions of them.

This website picks up this challenge and guides you through exploring the system’s dynamics and interactions by using a Systems Approach Framework (SAF). The SAF is a methodology that has been designed, developed and tested by 54 research institutes and universities across the European Union. Multidisciplinary teams were involved in the analysis of coastal problems, engaging in inter- and transdisciplinary work with society and policy, tackling environmental problems in the coastal zone, aiming to improve the ecological sustainability, economic efficiency, and social equity.

The website offers a 5-step-manual for identifying issues, for representing and illustrating complex processes, for interpreting these, and for engaging with policy makers and stakeholders to bridge the gap between science and policy and science and society. It fosters the integration between different scientific disciplines and society, and promotes a dialogue and transfer of scientific knowledge to policy and society.

The SAF manual that you will work with focuses on existing tools but connects these through the use of systems theory. It guides you through a full SAF-application and gives you guidelines on how to implement the five steps, as well as offering you a set of essential supporting information, a variety of examples, bibliographies and links to several databases.

Enjoy your SAF application!

To learn more about what a Systems Approach Framework is, follow the link below
What is a SAF?