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Davies, P., Williams, A.T., Curr, R.H.F.: Decision making in dune management: theory and practice. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 1: 87-96, 1995.


Abstract. Effective decision making depends upon the availability of quality information. Procedures involved in assessing dune vulnerability and protection require monitoring of sporadic processes and information must be collected from many discipline sources. In particular, a significant challenge to strategic management is recognition of subtle discontinuities which could undermine the long term stability of the dune system. These changes may be irregular and/or non linear requiring managers to be aware of existing parameters, patterns and emerging discontinuities. A range of components within the system should be measured on a systematic, temporal and spatial basis. An environmental checklist is a useful management technique which systematises information, so that strategic objectives can be made operational and achievable. Problems can be identified and solved with this methodology particularly if it is incorporated into a W problem solving model. The checklist procedure proposed in this paper has been developed and tested in field conditions for a range of north-west and south-European dune systems. Whereas a universal checklist applicable to all systems is utopian in aim, intra and extra-regional comparisons can be undertaken with only minor modifications of some components. Parameters covering site and dune morphology; beach condition; surface character of the seaward 200 m of the dunes; pressure of use and recent protection measures are the basis for calculating vulnerability and protection indices. The balance between these indices can be determined, analysed and form the foundation for future informed management decisions.

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