COASTAL Squared builds upon the H2020 project COASTAL, which formulates and evaluates business solutions and policy recommendations aimed at improving the coastal-rural synergy to foster rural and coastal development while preserving the environment.
While the H2020 project presents a European-based focus, the topic is of critical importance for Norway as well, and a Norwegian case would be greatly beneficial to complement the findings in COASTAL. It is therefore well suited to pursue a Norwegian case where we use multi-actor approaches to analyse the environmental, economic and social interactions of rural and coastal areas in a holistic manner in a Norwegian context.
The project will contribute to addressing key challenges in the interactions between coastal and rural areas in Norway in an environmental context where things are changing fast, and we need to adapt to this through
creating synergies between regional industries, and challenge one another to seeing how one may benefit from collaboration. In addition, challenging stakeholders to assess opportunities for synergies within the region is also critical at a time where there is rural-urban migration many places.
Challenges in the Troms and Finnmark region between aquaculture, fisheries, land-based activities such as wild salmon fishing and tourist activities have dominated the media picture at times. This is at a time when especially aquaculture will likely increase in this region in the future. It is therefore important to have already established methodologies for good collaboration arenas.
Photo: Adobe stock / MindestensM
The benefits of a Norwegian case with local stakeholders in the Troms and Finnmark region in the Coastal project also lies in ensuring that we – together with the stakeholders – can see our case as a piece of a European puzzle, where different actors have already discussed these issues. Adding in future generations and serious games will add the element of involving those who will in about a decade or two lead our local, regional and national governance scenes. Teaching these groups about the delicate balancing acts between sustainability goals and local and regional needs can have profound impact.
In this Coastal squared project, we will first develop a transferable set of tools and indicators that will allow for a quantitative and qualitative description of a wide variety of economic, environmental and social land-sea interactions, thereby improving our understanding of economic and social interactions in coastal and rural areas in Norway as well, serving a more evidence-based policy-making at local and regional level.
We will also contribute to a wider knowledge and understanding of not only coastal-rural interactions, but also provide future generations with increased knowledge of how Norway fits into a larger European context in terms of coastal-rural interactions. They will also have a popular method for learning being applied to this project in the form of a game. This game, which can be played either traditionally as a board game or as a digital socialdistancing-proof version. The game logic can later be adapted to other issues that are of importance to ease communication of difficult topics, enhancing the way students learn about sustainable development goals and how political action often involved hard choices between different goals – and different facets of sustainability (economic, environmental and social).