A systems approach to identify sets of indicators: Applications to coastal management
This paper proposes a systems approach and a set of steps to select critical variables to build a site-specific, problem-oriented and cost-effective set of indicators for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The approach integrates three steps: (i) a method to systematically identify coastal stakeholders, called "Hydra", (ii) a stakeholder-based conceptualization technique based on the use of matrices, and (iii) the analysis of the system structure and variables using structural analysis and multivariate statistics (Principal component analysis, PCA). In Section 2, a hypothetical example is used to illustrate the whole process, while real case studies are used in Section 3 for testing, including: (i) the application of the Hydra to the identification of coastal stakeholders for the Spanish Strategy for Coastal Sustainability, (ii) a stakeholder-based systems conceptualization exercise for an ICZM project in Egypt and (iii) the analysis of a dataset of sustainability indicators for coastal areas collected in Catalonia, Spain, using PCA. Results of the research show that the methodological framework is applicable both as an integrated approach or as independent steps to address the identification of cost-effective sets of indicators, oriented to site-specific problems, based on a broad systems perspective.
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified