BONUS 2010-2017: The joint Baltic Sea research and development programme
(co-funded by EU and related to EU Horizon 2020)
Call 2014: Sustainable ecosystem services


Project acronym: BaltCoast
Project full title: A System Approach Framework for Coastal Research and Management in the Baltic


The Systems Approach Framework (SAF) is an issue oriented investigation and methodology that applies a holistic perspective. It investigates and quantifies the functions of systems in order to simulate specific questions concerning their functions or policies. It comprises the process from issue identification through system analyses to policy implementation. This Systems Approach can, hence, competently address implementation of international directives (e.g. Water Framework Directive (WFD), Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)). In BaltCoast we address multiple issues through case studies that reflect current regional management challenges and develop a generic tool for integrated system assessment.


Major objectives are:

  • to further-develop a Systems Approach Framework (SAF) for science and policy integration in the coastal zone into an applicable, user-friendly tool with high practical relevance that allows users to manage with multiple, complex, and diverse issues in the coastal zone and integration of spatial information and concern;
  • to tackle major thematic coastal issues that require a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, in a manner that is structured, transparent and provides a framework to deal with complex issues and applicable for evaluating solutions with end-users;
  • to further-develop and apply an indicator-based concept that allows users to measure the sustainability and the success of SAF, ICZM and MSP, as well as a concept to integrate the SAF into existing policy frameworks (e.g. EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU Integrated Maritime Policy, EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Water Framework Directive (WFD), Natura 2000 as well as the Baltic Sea Action Plan);
  • to carry out intensive SAF training and education for academics and professionals in order to increase the capacity to deal with complex coastal issues in a systematic way;
  • to strengthen and link existing Baltic ICM activities and initiatives into a lasting Baltic coastal management competence network.


The Project is divided into seven Work Packages (WP):

  • WP1 - Management & end-users
  • WP2 - Systems Approach Framework development
  • WP3 - Socio-economics & scenarios of change
  • WP4 - ICM re-analysis studies
  • WP5 - SAF-application & case study sites
  • WP6 - Tools & science-policy integration
  • WP7 - Dissemination, training & network


Duration: April 2015 – March 2018

Total budget: 3 Million Euro