Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


There have been few empirical studies demonstrating how sustainable development has been realized in a specific regime. This project developed and tested a framework for comprehensive planning including environmental, social, and economic considerations on the island Cres in the Croatian Coastal Zone. The approach defines sustainable development in coastal regions, and develops a generic framework incorporating biological, geological, chemical, physical, social, and economic factors necessary for sustainable development. The generic framework ensures that planning decisions will be based on environmental concerns of the area. A prime principle of the approach is that any plan must work with the environmental limits for sustainable development. Within these limits, however, many options for environmental and social development exist. Successful resource management demands knowledge and understanding of the resources being used, the consequences of those uses, and awareness that decisions ultimately reduce remaining options. In addition, the awareness of these consequences can be used to mitigate "bad choice" decisions. The use options are based on environmental carrying capacities, and incorporate a resource-based economy in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and ecotourism. The project uses integrated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technology to define existing environmental conditions, and identify resource limitations and constraints caused by potential uses, as well as environmental requirements and options for each potential use. Insufficiencies in the database that could hinder the full implementation of a comprehensive resource use plan were identified early. Using GIS, potential use conflicts were identified, and possible use scenarios in conjunction with various managements were evaluated. Finally, the GIS database was combined with current use-impact models creating an analytical tool for evaluating impacts of alternative development scenarios. The generic resource framework for sustainable development, planning and policy development establishes a base to which political, economical, and social considerations can be added. This integrated coastal system model is intended to guide the development of rational and integrated long-term social and economical policies for the continuing use of the coastal zone.



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