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Water, Coasts and Ocean

Coastal areas are home to 40% of the world’s population and host most of the transport, commercial, residential and national defense infrastructure in more than 200 nations and territories. Coasts are undergoing profound human-induced changes due to increased urbanization, extractive industry practices, increased sprawl of coastal infrastructure, tourism growth, overexploitation of resources and upstream effects from hydropower, food production, and solid and liquid wastes. At the same time, coastal areas and their critical infrastructures are becoming more susceptible to concurrent natural drivers of change, including multiple hazards that are exacerbated by the growing impacts of climate change such as sea level rise.

To achieve our vision of “Resilient Coasts for All”, our team generates knowledge and develops and applies tools that provide solutions contributing to more inclusive and resilient coasts that are liveable, resourceful, accessible and connected.

Our vision is founded on the need to operationalize integrated planning of catchments, coastal and marine areas based on circular approaches. We believe that if we are ever to achieve the mission of healthier seas while ensuring the safety of our societies in a changing climate, coastal planning needs to internalize resilience building through more heterogeneous infrastructures, multifunctional uses of space, and anticipatory and adaptive governance.

The diverse and multidisciplinary nature of the team allows us to tackle, together with both national and international partners and local stakeholders, a range of issues from the source to the sea. Examples of our work include risk, vulnerability and resilience assessments of infrastructure, people and organizations, water innovation, including green/grey/hybrid, centralized/decentralized, land-based/floating solutions and service arrangements, socio-economic assessment of ecosystems and their goods and services, water as a multidimensional element – as a service, carrier and source of energy, planning, governance and geopolitics of the blue economy and communicating knowledge surrounding ocean-related SDG priorities.