Cost-benefit analysis of (past) coastal erosion and (future) coastal protection interventions in Central Portugal
Topic of the practice
Risk Management and Mitigation
Good Practice Information
An interdisciplinary team of civil engineers, environmental economists and geographers was formed, to: i) estimate the historical (1975-2006) ecosystem service value losses from coastal erosion, and ii) assess the costs and benefits of a wide range of types, locations and combinations of coastal protection investment options. Only part of the Central Portuguese coast - i.e. the coastal zone between Ovar and Murtinheira was studied. To estimate historical (1975-2006) land use and ecosystem service value losses from coastal erosion along the Central Portuguese coast, the team combined historical coastal land use maps (for the determination of historical land use losses) and benefit transfer techniques (for the valuation of coastal ecosystem services).
To assess the costs and benefits of a wide range of types, locations and combinations of coastal protection investment options along the Central Portuguese coast, the team used the shoreline
evolution model LTC (Long-Term Configuration; for the assessment of future land use losses as a function of coastal protection interventions) and benefit transfer techniques (for the valuation of coastal ecosystem services as well as investment and maintenance costs) in combination with costbenefit analysis. Assessed protection interventions include groins, longitudinal revetments and artificial nourishments that are additional to the existing coastal protection interventions - thereby differentiating between extending existing and establishing new coastal protection interventions.
Evidence of success
The practice successfully shows the contribution of models to understand the coastal dynamics in the Aveiro region. It shows that coastal protection interventions reduce the rate at which land is lost due to erosion and that those areas that are not yet lost due to coastal erosion provide significant ecosystem service values. It may be worthwhile to protect coastal areas as benefits obtained from not (yet) eroded areas may outweigh costs foregone through their (yet temporary) protection. This gives a basis for the mitigation strategy to adopt the results and the knowledge of this good practice into regional and local policies and at the specific municipal civil protection plan in Aveiro.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Rita Seabra Freitas
Municipality of Aveiro
Annex completed on: 08-21-2012