This month CoastNet is happy to tell you about ENCORA, a challenging and innovative project in Coastal Research. It is a European Network on Coastal Research, an EU Framework Programme that aims “Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area”.
The ENCORA network is bravely addressing 3 major causes for stagnation in the implementation of ICZM in Europe: (A) Fragmentation of coastal science, practice and policy; (B) Difficult communication between science, policy and practice; (C) Lack of multidisciplinary approaches. Partners from most EU nations as well as existing networks from Russia and North Africa are uniting forces to initiate a self-sustaining process of cooperation in Europe and between scientists, practitioners and policymakers. How are they doing this? Most partners have developed national networks and thematic networks have also been established (have a look at the graphic). A number of activities will be developed through these, such as Exchange Visit programme for young researchers and practitioners, a European contact search organization, the creation of operational links with other coastal networks and the development of Communities of Practice on critical coastal research, management or policy issues.
One of the many outcomes of the ENCORA network is its great online portal, that has already been visited by more then 13000 visitors! Some of the resources you can access are a “user friendly” Contact Search database, CoastWeb’s online Library, an online Forum, you could also become an active participant of a Coastal Wiki (if you become a member of a thematic network).
CoastNet is an active partner and supporter of ENCORA networks and is developing a Coastal Ontology (Knowledge Base) to help computers and the Internet “understand” the language of Coastal Management. In this way the coastal community will be able to find and share good quality information and knowledge more quickly and effectively. Other tasks we’ll be responsible of are evaluating the Encora portal and ensuring good quality documents are made available from the CoastWeb Library.