5. Risk assessment

The aim of the risk assessment is to estimate the status of the coastal environment within the next 5 and 50 years, if current management practices are not changed. This assessment is designed to provide policy- and decision-makers with feedback on the short- and long-term consequences of current management and to highlight specific risks. The assessment only considers what is likely to occur if there are no changes to current policies.

The risk assessment is a two-step process. Experts first assessed the likelihood that an event will occur in the next 5 or 50 years.  The experts then judged the consequences of an event occurring in terms of its overall impact on the marine environment. 



Group Risk factor Risk in 5 years Risk in 50 years
High Signi- ficant Mod- erate Low High Signi- ficant Mod- erate Low
Coastal ecosystems The risk of widespread ecosystem destruction for/by urbanization, industry, agriculture, transport infrastructure High risk High risk
Coastal ecosystems The risk that widespread pollution (incl. from industry and oil pollution at sea) will impact ecosystems High risk High risk
Coastal ecosystems Risk of eutrophication of lakes, rivers and coastal zone Low risk Significant risk
Coastal ecosystems Risk that overfishing will continue and cause collapse of fish stocks High risk Significant risk
Climate change Risk of inundations (sea level rise) and increased storm frequency High risk
Pollution Risk of excessive groundwater extraction and impact on coastal ecosystems High risk
Overexploitation Overexploitation of timber High risk Significant risk
Invasive species Risk of invasive species on coastal ecosystems Significant risk High risk
Risk value  
Risk grades