Knowledge management (e.g., production, mobilization, integration) is key to achieve socio-ecological sustainability and to handle the many challenges that distress coastal zones – e.g. finding a balance between ecological conservation and economic development. Building on the concept of science-policy interface, we propose a new term here which is more (semantically) inclusive, the knowledge-practice interface. This article aims to articulate the most relevant elements of a general framework of the knowledge-practice interface for enhancing the management of knowledge in coastal zone management. To do this, three case studies in the Wadden Sea area are analysed focussing on knowledge and practice. First, the habitat restoration of the houting species in Denmark; second, the monitoring and management aspects related to the concentrations of suspended matter in the Ems estuary (Germany and the Netherlands); and finally, the development of environmental management systems for ports in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The analysis of these three cases is conducted and the framework is built around four central questions: why, what, who, and how. The article concludes that scientific knowledge on its own is insufficient to achieve sustainability in coastal zones; participatory knowledge and practices are increasingly required to facilitate the integration of different types of knowledge (e.g. formal and informal), and the inclusion of different stakeholders to enhance integrated coastal zone management.
- science-policy interface
- sustainable development