Centre for Sustainability of the Sea and Coastal Zones launched with scientific and technical coordination by FCT NOVA


The Centre for Marine Sustainability and Coastal Zones was lauched in Porto Novo, Torres Vedras, Portugal, on February 1st, and has the scientific and technical coordination by FCT NOVA. The Centre aims to be a hub for ocean and coastal literacy that promotes and enhances the scientific knowledge transfer and the active involvement and empowerment of local communities.

During the launching session, a protocol was rectified between FCT NOVA, represented by the Dean José Júlio Alferes, and Torres Vedras municipality, in the person of it's Mayor, Laura Rodrigues, that established the collaboration among the two institutions to develop the scientific initiatives of this centre. The secretary of State of the Sea, José Maria Costa, was equally in attendance.

The Dean of FCT NOVA emphasized that,"prompting the researchers to the site of the matter they investigate is beneficial to society and is also valuable to the academy, for the production of knowledge that is made in the university."

MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre will be the support research centre, through the Regional Unit of the NOVA University Lisbon and the Associated Laboratory ARNET - Aquatic Research Network, and the scientific coordination will be the responsibility of José Carlos Ferreira, Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

"We want this Centre, and the decentralization of the university to a local territory, to help achieve solutions to the immense problems that exist in the coastal zone and, at the same time, to help to enhance the exploitation of the resources we have at our service, namely the services of marine and coastal ecosystems that we have at our disposal. We must explore in a responsible way these resources, which must represent an asset for the sustainable development of coastal communities, namely here in the Oeste region and also in Torres Vedras", said José Carlos Ferreira, professor of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of FCT NOVA and MARE researcher.

This centre results from an application to Mar 2020 and aims at the dissemination and diffusion of knowledge and research in the fields of sea and coastal areas with multiple dimensions of action and intervention of training, scientific and socio-cultural nature.

The activities already agreed for the Centre include the realization of an international summer school with the support of EUCC - The Coastal Union; the preparation of an executive post-graduate course with a focus on blue circular economy and locally based entrepreneurship; cycles of workshops; seminars and short courses; the definition and construction of a "Sea and Coastal Zone Observatory"; the promotion of two living labs, one dedicated to the sustainability and resilience of coastal communities and the second that will evaluate nature-based solutions for adaptation to climate change; and also the elaboration of a strategy for applications of local research-action projects to European and national funds.

The aim is to promote a "Coastal Community Living Lab", transforming the local community and the coastal territory into a laboratory for knowledge transfer, discussion and construction of shared knowledge between the community, decision-makers and scientists. This will be achieved through the use of design thinking and active community involvement techniques and processes of collaboration and empowerment, critical reflection and collective learning.

The Centre for Sustainability of the Sea and Coastal Zones complements another facility, the Interpretation Centre of the Foz Azul Local Nature Reserve, which also had the uphold and scientific support of FCT NOVA and MARE/ARNET.


Secretário de Estado do Mar inaugurou Centro para a Sustentabilidade do Mar e Zonas Costeiras, Rádio Clube da Lourinhã