Sweden is a unitary state with a decentralized government. To carry out the management of his country, Sweden has three governments, namely central, provincial (LAN), and city (community). In general, Sweden adheres to the principle of regional autonomy so that it gives broad authority to local governments to make policies and carry out their governance independently. The majority of Sweden’s population, 82% or around 7.9 million people live in coastal areas. Cities in Sweden, including the three most populous cities – Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo – are coastal cities so that the socio-economic conditions of Swedish coastal communities are generally characterized by high per capita income with a low Gini ratio, and the economy moves through the fields manufacturing, service and trade.
The Swedish coast is generally steep and rocky with hundreds of small islands located near the coast. Derived from the genesis of glacial processes, the morphology of these small islands is uniform, namely rounding, some of which are identified as being composed of limestone and sandstone. This type of coast can be found on both the eastern and western coasts, for example around Stockholm and Gothenbuurg. A small portion of Sweden’s coastal areas are lowlands, such as those on the coast of Bothnia. In this region glacial processes form an area marked by fertile muddy plains, the emergence of many lakes, and sandy hills.
Sweden is an exporter of wood-based goods, hydroelectric power and iron ore. The engineering industry has become a leading producer, supported by the automotive, telecommunications and medicine industries. The agriculture and capture fisheries sector is a small part of the Swedish economy, with the city of Gothenburg on the west coast becoming the main port and fishing market throughout the country. The beach tourism sector is found in several locations along the southern coast, between Stockholm and Gothenburg, among which are the beaches in Skane and Ystad. In general, the problems encountered in the coastal regions of Sweden are as follows:
– Floods and Erosion
Climate change is a major factor causing the threat of problems in the coastal areas of Sweden. Rising global sea levels and rising extreme waves are potential disasters that are expected to cause socio-economic losses for coastal populations. Sea level rise projections at the end of this century show the sinking of the southern land area as deep as 80 cm and 50 cm in the central and northern parts. The impact of sea level rise can cause huge losses for Sweden because the coastal area is the location where the main economic activities are running and also the places with the highest population density.
This situation poses a significant threat due to the large number of residents living in coastal areas. In the densely populated southern part of Sweden, 30% of settlements occupy areas <5 km from the coastline. According to the National Agency for Housing, Buildings and Planning, the trend to build buildings in coastal areas has doubled compared to 1970. The Swedish Climate and Vulnerability Commission estimates that there are 150,000 buildings that will sink if sea levels rise as high as 80 cm, causing a loss of SEK 220 trillion (around 3.5 million trillion rupiah).
In Ystad, it is estimated that around 20% of buildings will sink by the end of the century if the predicted rise in sea level 80 cm really occurs. The same threat was present in Skane and Blekinge, Sundsvall, and Gotland and Svealand, with the percentage of buildings threatened to vary from 6 to 20 percent.
– Damage to Marine Ecosystems
The Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed sea with many rivers that empty there but tends to be saturated because most of the area is surrounded by land. The Baltic Sea is exposed to a variety of objects and waste from human activities such as fertilizer from agricultural activities, chemical pollution, and oil spills (Backer et al. 2010). This causes disruption of the balance of the marine ecosystem.
Likewise in the Skagerrak Strait, high concentrations of organic compounds from ship paints and port waste are found. In addition, fishing in Skagerrak has been alarming because it causes environmental damage. Over-fishing results in changes in the structure of the ecosystem and accumulation of algae, worsening the quality of sea water, and causing the loss of habitat for some marine organisms.