This study focuses on assessing the state of population distribution, land cover distribution, biodiversity hotspots, and protected areas in global coastal zones. The coastal zone is defined as land within 100 km of the coastline. This study attempts to answer such questions as: how crowded are the coastal zones, what is the pattern of land cover distribution in these areas, how much of these areas are designated as protected areas, what is the state of the biodiversity hotspots, and what are the interconnections between people and coastal environment. This study uses globally consistent and comprehensive geospatial data-sets based on remote sensing and other sources. The application of Geographic Information System (GIS) layering methods and consistent datasets has made it possible to identify and quantify selected coastal zones environmental issues and their interconnections. It is expected that such information provide a scientific basis for global coastal zones management and assist in policy formulations at the national and international levels.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2