Good data needed to curb beach erosion


15-June-2009

 
Mr Decomarmond making his presentation. Prof Hanson is seated right, front row

Prof Hans Hanson is among those supervising Seychellois student Alain Decomarmond who is pursuing a doctorate in coastal management at Sweden’s Kalmar University, and was speaking at a forum organised at English River by the Sea Level Rise Foundation where  Mr Decomarmond made a presentation.

Among those present was Dr Rolph Payet of the foundation, who is also supervising Mr Decomarmond. A number of local scientists interested in erosion control also attended the forum.

Prof Hanson is a world authority of coastal engineering and has developed a number of computer models some of which are used by the US military and by researchers wanting to monitor changes on beaches under different climatic conditions.

He said Seychelles is not completely devoid of data on coastal erosion but “more is needed, including meta data which gives data on available data for the information available to be relevant and understood”.

Prof Hanson said environment experts cannot just work within their inner circles but have to work with other members of the community for example politicians and administrators to advise them why certain action should be taken or avoided to conserve beaches.

“You need to explain these things to social scientists, lawyers and other decision makers who may not fully understand the main problems behind beach erosion,” he said.

Mr Decomarmond said there are many factors which contribute to beach erosion such as the physical nature of the environment, semimetal changes and patterns as well as events like the tsunami.

He said there are many lessons to be learned from the past that can help future beach conservation.

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