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Hirschfeld, J.. Methoden der sozioökonomische Analyse zur Bewertung von Handlungsoptionen des Integrierten Küstenzonenmanagements. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 191-201. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


Methods of Socio-economic Analysis for the Assessment of ICZMOptions

The discussion on strategies of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is still heavily dominated by natural scientists and planning engineers. For choosing between alternative management options in the course of a participatory decision making process, it is necessary to evaluate not only potential ecological effects, but also associated costs and benefits of the decisions. Ecological targets can often be achieved in different ways and at heavily differing costs. Frequently the chances to reach a certain environmental goal are considerably enhanced if it is not only supported by ecological indicators, but also by an economic analysis identifying monetary benefits to face the otherwise quite prominent costs of its realisation. A comprehensive assessment of costs and benefits as well as their spatial, institutional and social distribution can explain a relevant share of existing opposition and implementation problems. Socioeconomic analysis can lead a way to find applicable and consensus orientated solutions. Acceptance and the chances for implementation of ICZM concepts are dependent on the (positive or negative) consequences for relevant actors and user groups in the coastal zone. An ecologically extended cost-benefit analysis and a dynamic actor network analysis can provide some essentially policy relevant variables – like regionalised benefit-costs ratios or employment effects – that can be used to shape the process of decision making in a consensual way. The paper presents a catalogue of socioeconomic methods applicable in the context of ICZM problems. The catalogue opens with the regional economic analysis, which is an important step to start with. It helps to realise economic and social problems and prospects within the region and collects data for subsequent analyses. The following actor network analysis identifies relevant actor groups and their perceptions, preferences, value judgements and goals. In connection with the cost-benefit analysis it can serve as a basis for estimating conflict or acceptance potential for alternative ICZM options. The section on scenarios states that formulating a baseline scenario is a necessary but not trivial task when dealing with long term planning problems and dynamic systems – as are usually present in ICZM. Scenario techniques can help to identify relevant and robust scenarios that can serve as a valuable basis for discussion and negotiation processes among stakeholders and decision makers. Among the economic valuation methods cost-efficiency analysis and cost-benefit analysis are widely used. Cost-efficiency may be the measure of choice when effects are mainly one-dimensional. If a more complex, multidimensional set of benefits is to be expected, a cost-benefit analysis would clearly be more appropriate. But only an ecologically extended cost-benefit analysis is really able to take into account not only the very obvious direct costs and benefits comparably easy to quantify. It has to assess also indirect effects that are often hard to monetarise. If monetarisation fails or is questioned drawing on ethical arguments, a multicriteria analysis might be useful. But the increase of transparency comes with the price of an increased complexity difficult to comprehend. Following the methodological part, the paper gives a short overview on components of socioeconomic approaches applied in the project IKZM-Oder and other recent studies and presents selected empirical results from an exemplary number of studies. They show the range of methodological approaches applied, but also the range of results for similar planning problems. The paper concludes that socioeconomic analysis can contribute to find cost-effective solutions to improve the ecological status of coastal zones. Furthermore it can help to identify potential conflicts between nature conservationists, regional economy and visitors in a very early stage of discussing options and strategies for ICZM. Socioeconomic analyses can therefore contribute considerably to the acceptance and success of integrated coastal zone management approaches developed on the basis of natural scientific research.

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