A general framework for indicator design and use with application to the assessment of coastal water quality and marine protected area management

Type Article
Date 2011-01
Language English
Author(s) Beliaeff Benoit1, Pelletier DominiqueORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr IRD, Noumea 98846, New Caledonia.
2 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Ocean & Coastal Management (0964-5691) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2011-01 , Vol. 54 , N. 1 , P. 84-92
DOI 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.10.037
WOS© Times Cited 17
Abstract Environmental management decisions based upon indicators are the end point of a process involving stakeholders and scientists. These steps should be explicit and follow a chronology. This paper presents a general framework for the design and use of management-oriented indicators, integrating management questions and performance criteria. We first examined the desirable characteristics of indicators aimed at providing decision-support for marine environmental management. Ideally, one should select the indicator that guarantees a safe and unambiguous decision leading to the appropriate measures in terms of regulation, remediation or control. In the present study, indicators are assessed according to two criteria: relevance and effectiveness. Relevance encompasses sensitivity and the existence of quantitative reference values, thereby allowing the selection of potential indicators. Effectiveness is the ability of the indicator to reach its predefined targets based on optimal (or at least improved) data collection protocols. The framework is illustrated by applying it to the European Water Framework Directive and to the Marine Protected Area management contexts. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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