Cabrera J. and Lee H.S. 2022. Coastal Zone Environment Integrity Assessment for Sustainable Management: Part 1. Development of Adaptive Expert-Driven Coastal Zone Health Index Framework. J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 10(9):1183. Open access
The coastal zone is the environment that connects terrestrial and marine environments. It is the most productive ecosystem on the planet. It has been estimated that 23 percent of the population lives in the coastal regions. The attractive landscape and seascape of the coastal zone environments attract human settlement and increase the economic activities in the area. Unfortunately, massive human urbanization is also attributed to coastal zone ecosystem degradation. In addition, water-related phenomena due to the changing climate also affect the said environment. The negative impacts of human activities and the water-related phenomena typically deplete the environment’s health. Thus, this study developed an adaptive index framework to assess the coastal zone environment condition. The principle of this framework is the sustainable co-existence of human development with the coastal zone environment. The identified coastal cities in the Philippines were utilized as the case study for developing the framework. The results show that the decision-makers are conservationists while extractive. In contrast, environmental educators are conservationists in nature. Moreover, each city has its own unique framework and signifies that the framework is adaptive to the perspective of the decision makers in their city.