Research Report 2007

Coastal sustainability

Around the world, people are closely connected with coastal areas as places to live, work and relax. The complexity and diversity of coastal ecosystems make them ecologically and socially valuable, but also highly susceptible to natural and human induced changes. Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development, Dr. Chuenpagdee's interdisciplinary research program, which includes biophysical studies of coastal areas as well as ecosystem values, social organization and governance, aims to promote coastal sustainability and community resilience. She will integrate these components using an interactive spatial dynamic model to capture interactions and flows between natural and human systems, contributing to improved consideration of uses and development in coastal areas.

Dr. Chuenpagdee will seek to address some of these challenges and to contribute to our understanding about the coast and coastal communities in Atlantic Canada and around the world.

Portrait of Dr. Chuenpagdee

Dr. Chuenpagdee

Considering the historical importance of fisheries resources for Newfoundland and Labrador, the recent fisheries decline and strong pressures to explore alternative economic opportunities, her research program will develop tools to enhance the likelihood that growth, development and other changes taking place in Newfoundland and Labrador's coastal areas will help to sustain coastal communities, build community resilience, strengthen governance and maintain ecosystem services.

The research design and tools developed for the Newfoundlandand Labradorcase study will serve as prototypes for the study of other coastal areas with unique historical and cultural relationships between communities and marine resources. The outcomes from this research can be linked to research outcomes from elsewhere as part of the development of an international program for coastal sustainability.

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