Anastasia Kotenko and Niki Kakali

Our Atlas represents the possibility of sand movement across Europe. Driven by the wind velocity and direction it shows how the landform could make a path, being forced by landscape geometry either stopped by current land uses. Sand dunes consist not only a fragile environment but also complex ecosystems in transition. Sand dunes stretch the most significant amount of the European coastline. They develop wherever there is a suitable supply of sediment moved onshore by tide and they form diverse types of land formations. Their nature is movement, and any human management of dunes, like discontinuation of their flow goes against this nature. Most of the sand dunes environments in Europe are threatened by human activities. Urbanization together with ‘scientific’ ideas of human predominance and total control of natural habitats directly affected these environments starting from 19th century. For instance, recreational pressures have caused the destruction of dunes concerning the giant tourist facilities in the Mediterranean. In the process, they have demolished many of the natural landscapes that attracted the visitor in the first place. Along with that, causes of high erosion of managed areas may lie in the management itself, as natural processes are hardly predictable and human decisions are not always following the landform evolution. In all European countries, attention is given to landscape preservation; however, policies and practices in the past have mainly been based on specific ecological and visual landscape qualities but not spatial and political elements of the territory. The conflict of men|dune relation may be in the nature of two – men, applying techniques to stop the dune, and
dune which needs to shift and flow to continue it’s lifecycle. On the one hand nature conservations and re-habitation is of vital importance, but on the other hand the restoration of these dynamic drift sand ecosystems can produce land-use conflicts. The movement of sand can generate migration of the ownerships.

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