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Theme 1: Coastal vulnerability and risks


Project leaders: Alain Hénaff (UMR LETG-Brest) and Nicolas Le Dantec (UMR LDO)

Main objective: Theme 1 of ZABrI (Zone Atelier Brest-Iroise) is organised into sub-themes that explore the different aspects of coastal zone vulnerability to erosion and flooding risks. The work is based (i) on an analysis of impacts in the long-term (recent historic period spanning the last two centuries) and medium-term (over the last decades) of variations in climate, ocean weather and anthropogenic conditions on the ZABrI coastline (sub-theme 1); and (ii) on the examination of how coastal risks are perceived and managed, and the opportunities that exist for progress in terms of prevention and management (sub-theme 2).

Keywords: risks, vulnerability, hazards, stakes, management, perception.

Description of the research work: This issue clearly centres on coastal erosion and flooding risks. It is an academic question that also takes into account the concerns of managers of coastal zones subject to these hazards. It is built around an analysis of the four main components of systemic vulnerability (hazards, stakes, management, perception). This approach via systemic vulnerability is a methodological element shared by different projects. Its four main components are dealt with simultaneously or progressively in theme 1. This kind of approach must be interdisciplinary as it covers the fields of the humanities and social sciences in addition to natural sciences (geography, geology, geomorphology, sociology and psychology), and implements different data collection tools that are specific to or shared between the different disciplines involved. Two spatial scales of analysis are considered: the coastal territory (area of land managed by a municipality, coastlines and coastal zone) of the ZABrI and the designated field workshop sites (during the first four-year period). Where possible, it would be interesting if the new projects/aspects envisaged could allow for specific monitoring to be conducted at these field workshop sites, especially for issues concerning the evolution of coastal vegetation (supra-, inter- and subtidal), pollution and the dynamics of foreshore and subtidal accumulation (banks, dunes, furrows, etc.). There are underlying links with education, as students are involved in research and monitoring activities, particularly at the sites-ateliers. Finally, exchanges with those managing these territories, especially the Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise – PNMI (Iroise Natural Marine Park) and the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique – PNRA (Armorique Regional Park), who have become the main contact organisations, must now lead to more exchanges and collaborative work. Work with other specialists such as the Conservatoire du Littoral (French Coastal Protection Agency) is also foreseen.  Furthermore, as there are already relationships established with certain municipalities and groupings of municipalities, especially where the field workshop sites are concerned, coastal zone managers will continue to be involved though participation in seminars dealing with questions on management practices.


Laboratories involved:  LETG-Brest,    LDO,     CRPCC,    PALOC    (MNHN),    Ifremer

Non-academic partners: PNMI, PNRA, CG29, municipalities (Camaret-sur-Mer, Ile de Sein, Telgruc-sur-Mer, Plouzané), CEREMA

Preferential study sites: Coastal municipalities in the ZABrI, sites-ateliers at Ile de Sein, Le Dellec and Camaret