The innovation of Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches
Sustainable Development Is the Main Goal of Costa Nostrum
The innovation of the certification standard Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches rests on the fact that it is based on a sum of indexes - criteria which ensure the actual, all-aspect (economic, social and environmental) sustainable development of beaches.
The Economic Aspect of Costa Nostrum
This specific standard places great emphasis on the economic aspect of sustainable beaches as well as on their environmental and social focus. It has been demonstrated that unilateral economic development at the expense of the environmental and social aspects of sustainability proves detrimental to its viability. The answer is to strike a balance among all three aspects without discounting the importance of any one in the interests of advancing the others, thereby ensuring the sustainable development of beaches.
Prevention of the Causes of Adverse Environmental Impact
Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches prevents adverse environmental impact by means of required changes both in the provision of services and in the mentality of visitors to the beach and inhabitants along its periphery.
Holistic Approach of Sustainability
In order for a certification standard to demonstrate the desired development in all three components of sustainability, it should incorporate a holistic approach in all matters - criteria which concern the beach. Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches achieves this with an analytical approach towards all the criteria of all three aspects of sustainability.
Categorization of Beaches
Just as each beach has its own unique characteristics, its own needs and requirements, but also specific capabilities in the provision of services, there should also exist a standard which evaluates these services and the characteristics of any given beach, and ranks the beaches accordingly. In addition, through Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches the up-grading of a beach's provision of services can be achieved.
Calculation of Carrying Capacity of a beach
The most significant criterion for the planning of a sustainable management standard towards the development of a beach is the calculation of its current capabilities, that is, how many visitors can be present at any given time within the beach zone without disturbing the environmental balance of the beach and the ecosystems found within it. The innovation of Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches lies in its ability to take into account the current capacity of a beach, and tailoring to these capabilities a suitable management plan.
Promotional System of Sustainable Beaches
Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches constitutes a complete promotional and informational system available to the public and interested parties which relates which beaches have adopted this specific certification standard. It highlights the infrastructure of any given beach so that visitors have the opportunity through the internet to be able to select a beach to visit on the basis of its environmental performance and the infrastructure and services it offers. This specific management plan confers upon the beach the potential to become the epicenter of the region.
Not just aimed at Organized beaches
The proposed standard concerns both organized and non-organized beaches but also encompasses beaches of an ecological nature since it has been implemented across all three categories of beach with equal positive results.
Provides an Avenue to Beach Visitors for Evaluation of the Standard and of the Beach itself
One more innovation of the proposed certification standard is that it enables visitors to a beach to judge and evaluate, by means of an anonymous and short questionnaire, the management plan - standard, its implementation, and to grade the beach itself.
Responds to the Actual Needs of Beaches in the Mediterranean Basin
The certification standard Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches is especially designed for the coasts of the Mediterranean by specialized scientists who know the specificities and needs of beaches across all phases of sustainable development, covering these needs in the best possible way and always in the interests of the environment, society, and naturally the economic development of coastal areas.
Promotes Local Products in Restaurant-Catering Businesses Along the Beach
Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches effectively promotes the use and advertising of both local traditional products and local businesses on the website www.costanostrum.org and on its respective mobile application.
Checks and Controls of the Management Plan - Standard performed by the Public
The greatest perhaps innovation of Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches is that the control of the correct implementation of the standard may be performed by the public themselves – visitors to each certified beach that has adopted the standard. This is achieved through the disclosure of all information pertaining to the implementation of the management plan-standard on the internet (on the Costa Nostrum website, www.costanostrum.org and on its respective mobile application), through the entering a specific beach on the mobile application, and through the provision of the questionnaire. The disclosure and the existence of the questionnaire ensure the transparency of Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches and is one of the most basic prerequisites for the establishment and characterization of a beach as a sustainable beach.