Fragile frontiers

© Shutterstock © Shutterstock
© Shutterstock © Shutterstock
© Shutterstock © Shutterstock

40% of the world’s population live close to the coast. In the past five years, towns have taken over 34 % of coastal territory in Portugal, 27 % in Ireland and 18 % in Spain. The shores of the Mediterranean attract one quarter of the world’s tourists – 158 million people a year. But since 1993 the sea has been encroaching on Europe’s coastline, at an average rate of 3 mm a year. The cause is the thermal expansion of oceans and the melting of glaciers and ice caps.

According to some models, sea levels will rise by between 20 and 60 cm by 2100. Humankind is destroying biodiversity and climate change is swelling the oceans. To combat this deterioration, which is already taking place, many countries are experimenting with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).


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