Gute Küste Niedersachsen - Real-world laboratories for ecosystem strengthening coastal protection on the coast of Lower Saxony

Project Team

Evke Schulte- Guestenberg


Dr. Leena Karrasch


Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner



Secretariat: Birgit Schelenz


+49 441 798-4384  

Project Description

Object of Research

Coastal protection is currently based mainly on the concept of building in nature to ensure the protection of the population against natural hazards. However, the effects of coastal protection on the natural environment have been largely ignored. Given the increasing pressure of use and the effects of climate change, the established, proven coastal protection must be supplemented or transformed into an ecosystem strengthening coastal protection to be able to guarantee a responsible and sustainable life and economic activity in harmony with nature, embedded in the grown cultural landscape.

The project aims to test robust, multifunctional and, in particular, ecosystem strengthening coastal protection measures and to ensure that these are simultaneously taken into account in the planning and approval by the responsible state authorities and are accepted by civil society.

In subproject 5, the Ecological Economy team focuses on socio-ecological and economic dimensions in collaboration with associated partners and actors in real-world laboratories. The task of the team is to collect knowledge and preferences of relevant actors and to analyse conflicts and synergies of interests and preferences of these actors concerning the future development of Lower Saxony based on participatory processes such as surveys, focus groups and workshops.

Method / Approach

The project is characterised by a close and integrated form of cooperation between disciplines and with local actors* (administrations, associations and civil society). Real-world laboratories become explicit testing grounds for new use and management concepts and action and planning patterns in coastal protection with an ecosystem-promoting character. Together with local actors (administrations, associations and civil society), possible options for action and management are developed and tested in these real-life laboratories, in which the interacting processes can be examined and the resulting impacts can be critically reviewed and prepared for further application.

Project Duration

January 2020 - December 2024


The project "Gute Küste Niedersachsen - Real-world laboratories for ecosystem strengthening coastal protection on the coast of Lower Saxony" is funded with 2.5 million Euros by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK)

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