To maintain or even develop services delivered by nature to the human society is at the heart of sustainable management of coastal systems. The survival of these services depends on the ability of coastal populations and various users to adjust and coordinate their demand based on the renewal potential of resources. In this context Research Axis 3 aims at developing a real systemic approach of complex systems in response to perturbations at the species, ecosystem and human activity level. This approach, applied to coastal environment, with access to observation and experimentation, and as a key point of sustainable development, represents a major methodological step in dealing with environmental issues.
Numerous responses already exist, both technical and institutional, to the issue of sustainable management of coastal zones. However in many cases the complexity of interactions between natural ad social processes means that these responses do not bring satisfying results (decreasing water quality, loss of resources in coastal ecosystems, overexploitation of living resources). A deeper integration of research output into the advisory and decision making processes is deemed necessary to improve sustainability significantly. Research Axis 3 provides a new point of view on this issue through the leadership of social sciences and by including two applications: sustainable management of coastal zone and ecosystemic management of living resources. The expertise of teams involved in Research Axis 3 is recognised by the project management role of IUEM in the SPICOSA Integrated Program of the European Commission.