Adapting to Coastal Climate Change: A Guidebook for Development Partners
This guidebook provides a detailed treatment of climate change concerns in coastal areas and gives a step-by-step approach for taking adaptation measures. These include: assessing vulnerability to climate change and climate variability, developing and implementing adaptation options, and integrating options into programs, development plans, and projects at the national and local levels.
Climate change will impact the health, function and productivity of coastal ecosystems, thus impacting the health and welfare of coastal communities and the billions of people that depend on these natural resources.
Climate impacts include accelerated coastal erosion and loss of land and property, flooding, saltwater intrusion, shifts in the distribution and abundance of valuable marine habitats, species and biodiversity, and the accelerated spread of exotic and invasive species.
Coral bleaching and ocean acidification are also linked to climate change. Coastal areas most vulnerable to climate change are low-lying islands; coasts and deltas; countries subjected to hurricanes and typhoons; and less developed countries.
Adaptation programs for coastal areas often share these goals:
- Maintain functioning and healthy coastal ecosystems
- Reduce exposure and vulnerability of the built environment
- Strengthen governance frameworks for coastal adaptation
- Maintain livelihood opportunities and diversify options
- Reduce risks to human health and safety