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Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Communities

Regional Economics of Climate Change
Project leader
Maripaz L. Perez
1 Jun 2011
29 Feb 2012
Coastal and marine ecosystems are vital to Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, as each of these countries depend on fish and other marine products to fuel their economy and feed their people. However, the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, storm surges and typhoons, mean that these coastal ecosystems and the communities who depend on them are more at risk than ever before. Indeed, it is now necessary for these countries to increase the resiliency of coastal communities to such impacts.
Some of the longer running coastal rehabilitation programs currently in place include activities such as mangrove reforestation, and large comprehensive programs that address the need for integrated coastal management. Whilst the positive impact of these activities is not in doubt, the specific benefits associated with climate change risk reduction and resiliency enhancement have yet to be identified.

Regional Economics of Climate Change

To date, government policies have focused on ‘hard’ adaptation measures such as the introduction of sea dykes, reinforcement of infrastructure, and weather monitoring and forecasting. However, little attention has been paid to ‘soft’ adaptation measures such as increasing institutional capacity through policy reforms or the role of collective action and social capital in reducing poverty and building resilience.
The ‘Regional Economics of Climate Change’ project, implemented by The WorldFish Center and funded by the Economic and Environment Program for South East Asia (EEPSEA), is helping Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam to better understand the risks posed by climate change, with a view to designing appropriate climate change adaptation strategies, especially in coastal areas. Towards this end, key lessons will be provided by six case analyses.
A key objective of the study is to help decision makers at both the local and national levels to integrate robust adaptation strategies into their development plans and budgets within a context of high uncertainty, competing needs and limited financial resources.
The Project Teams are also looking at juvenile fisheries, which continue to be a source of livelihood in a number of coastal communities in all three countries, even though they disrupt the natural biological cycle of growth and reproduction of many fish species and lead to a reduction in fish stocks. To address these issues, policy reforms, crafted within the unique context of the livelihood systems of the communities involved, are being investigated.
Overall, this study will examine the risks associated with climate change in the coastal areas of Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, and will provide a comparison of viable adaptation options in each location, including an analysis of the policy implications of each option.