Future Earth Coasts (FEC) Global Assessment Initiative

Anja Scheffers1, Kai Schulz2, Tim Smith3

1Southern Cross University, Faculty of Science and Engineering

2Southern Cross University, Faculty of Science and Engineering

3University of the Sunshine Coast, ARC Future Fellow


Whichever definition of the ‘coast’ is used, they are areas where not only land and ocean, but also various interests from numerous stakeholders collide. Finding solutions and facilitating decision making for coastal management requires a thorough framework for prior assessment of suitable indicator categories. The ‘Circles of Coastal Sustainability’ (CCS) framework (Alencar et al. 2020) can be used at multiple spatial scales to assess indicators of critical processes that facilitate or constrain sustainability of the world’s coastal zones. The development of such a framework can support management by identifying key features that influence environmental sustainability and human well-being. CCS framework presents a holistic assessment of four interdependent boundary domains: (i) Environment and Ecology; (ii) Social and Cultural; (iii) Economics; and (iv) Governance and Policy. Here, we report on implementation of the CCS approach by Future Earth Coasts (FEC), using example case studies of the Canadian Arctic and Mediterranean, which are contributing to global assessment of our coasts.


A/Prof Kai Schulz is with the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University. His scientific work is interested in potential impacts of ocean change on biogeochemical element cycling and feedbacks to Earth’s climate system, as well as in assessing potential benefits and risks of proposed climate change mitigation approaches, which could also be used for marine ecosystem restoration. Kai is member of the Future Earth Coasts Executive Committee at the International Project Office of Future Earth Coasts at Southern Cross University.