Adapting to Climate Change in the Coastal Zone – Factsheets. Seven Principles of Coastal Zone Climate Change Adaptation

Authors: Wade Hadwen, Samantha Capon, Daijiro Kobashi, Joanne Green, Ben Cook, Shireen Fahey, Ashton Berry, Amy Lalonde, Aimee Hall, Morgan Pratchett, Line Bay, Elvira Polczanska, Tara Martin and Wayne Rochester
Year: 2012

This factsheet presents a series of seven principles to guide coastal zone climate change adaptation. 1) Climate change adaptation (CCA) needs clearly defined goals, as it is highly likely that the goal of CCA will differ from one location to the next. While this seems quite intuitive, most climate change adaptation actions and plans do not explicitly state which goals (or which alternative) are being considered. This lack of explicit goal setting represents a major flaw in the way that climate change adaptation plans have been produced to date. 2) CCA decision making must include stakeholders from environmental, social and economic realms, to ensure that the actions being recommended have the greatest likelihood of being adopted. 3) CCA decision making requires data to be easily available and shared across all sectors and all of the social and economic institutions within each region. 4) CCA demands a drastic re-think of existing policy and planning constraints. There is a need to move beyond political cycles, as well as to be more spatially and temporally dynamic in how we consider adaptive pathways. Decisions made now should provide for flexible responses into the future. 5) CCA in the coastal zone requires a thorough understanding of connectivity, both within and between ecosystems. 6) Although CCA must occur at local and regional scales due to context-specificity, it is important to also consider larger scale considerations and the bigger picture. 7)CCA should not be considered in isolation of non-climate threats coastal environments already face. This is critical as climate change is likely to influence some of the drivers of non-climatic threats.

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