Governing coastal risks as a social process - Facilitating integrative risk management by enhanced multi-stakeholder collaboration


Scientific literature calls for a shift from exclusively technical towards enhanced social processes in risk management to cope with the challenges of increased complex governance regimes wherein different interests of contrasting institutions need to be considered, balanced and negotiated. However, practical implementation of this integrative perspective is still a major challenge – underlined amongst others by the recently published Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. By proposing an Integrated Risk Management Approach (IRMA) we contribute to simplified conditions in the transfer from scientific debates into practical implementation. Looking in particular on coastal regions, IRMA focus the user’s view on the essential challenges in terms of enhanced multi-sectoral structures and improved social and flexible processes, as much as it gives advice on its methodical realization. Using our practical experiences in the trilateral Wadden Sea Region, we disclose IRMA’s contribution on enhanced consideration of historical framing, risk perceptions, risk awareness and enhanced multi-stakeholder participation. Multi-stakeholder participation, institutionalised in multi-stakeholder partnerships, makes an essential contribution towards enhanced collaborative processes between scientists, policy-makers and affected communities.
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