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A methodological framework for multi-hazard risk assessment in beaches

Lozoya, Juan Pablo, Sardá, Rafael, Jiménez, José A.
Environmental science & policy 2011 v.14 no.6 pp. 685-696
beaches, coastal zone management, coasts, ecosystem services, environmental science, issues and policy, managers, prioritization, risk, risk assessment, risk profile, socioeconomics
Beach management has traditionally concentrated on recreational uses and geomorphologic processes, overlooking environmental values. Traditional risk analysis also overlooks environmental services focusing on socio-economic damages and only accounting for a part of the total risk. To overcome this situation, a systemic approach dealing with ecological and social dimensions is required. This paper proposes a risk analysis framework in which coastal hazards and beach ecosystem services are jointly considered. The first phase consists of the definition of the risk profile. This is done by building the beach Pathway of Effect, where links between coastal hazards and ecosystem services are identified following the DPSIR approach. The second phase, risk assessment, includes risk valuation and hazard prioritization, which will help managers to decide where to allocate resources to cope with hazards affecting beach functionality. The methodology was validated at S’Abanell beach (Spanish Mediterranean coast), which provides several ecosystem services and is subjected to a variety of hazards.