Catchment2Coast: A Systems Approach to Coupled River-Coastal Ecosystem Science and Management
Catchment2Coast was an interdisciplinary research and modelling project that aimed to improve understanding of the linkages between coastal ecosystems and the adjacent river catchments. The project involved nine partner organizations from three European and three southern African countries, including Mozambique, where the project was conducted. Catchment2Coast has tackled a problem which is at the interface of many different domains: between river and the sea, between bay and ocean, between water and soil, but also between ecology and economy. It used a variety of tools and methods, ranging from continuous hydrodynamic monitoring and biochemistry flux measurements to remote sensing and mathematical modelling techniques. But perhaps even more important was the integration of disciplines that took place during the project, which consisted of experts from different countries both from Europe and Southern Africa. The knowledge gained through this research provides a sound basis for the setting of environmental flow requirements for the Maputo, Incomati and similar river systems in sub-Saharan Africa. And what is more, it may serve as an example and stimulus for continued cooperation between experts from different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds.